Updated: Aug 20
"Brujas": Princess Nokia
Production: Christian Vargas, Reynaldo Hernandez
‘Brujas’ epitomises the sense of unshakeable confidence that 1992 exudes as an album. It achieves this both through its assertive lyrics, in which Princess Nokia explores her ancestral roots, and the pulsating production which keeps the listener on edge throughout the song.
The track begins captivatingly with the repetition of a staccato laser gun sound effect accompanied by four consecutive notes of a minor scale, generating a feeling of suspense. These notes then go on to become the throbbing backbone of the song in addition to its trap-inspired beat. On top of all of this, Princess Nokia raps with defiant control in an impressive range of tones that are all still undeniably unique to her voice. Throughout the song, she unapologetically owns all aspects of her Afro-Nuyorican identity and the mysticism of her heritage: ‘I’m that black a-rican bruja straight out from the Yoruba / And my people come from Africa diaspora, Cuba / And you mix that Arawak, that original people / I’m that black Native American, I vanquish all evil’.
On top of the song’s production, there is a gripping sense of aggression and insistent purpose at the core of Princess Nokia’s rapping, which, for me, makes ‘Brujas’ one of the many highlights on her refreshingly eclectic album.