Many of us met Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, better known as Princess Nokia, in the video for “Dragons.” She was low-key adorable, leaning against an arcade game in a midriff-baring knock-off Gucci tank before morphing into an anime fairy with generous eyelashes. The song ends with her naked in a shower, on some soft-porn while her man (rapper Wiki [link to Inteligencia article]) clutches a bottle of Old English Malt Liquor.
Mamis, tías, and madrinas collectively agreed that, although money did not guarantee a healthy relationship, a man should still be the greatest contributor to household finances. It was ironic, then, that when Chimbala ft. El Chima's “Tu Eres Una Chapiadora” introduced the term to the Dominican diaspora in 2013, "chapiadora" was used to hypersexualize and shame women who pursued men for financial gain.
These are all bands that I listen to and care about. For one reason or another, they are important in music history. I'm not an event photographer. I document bands that I love. That is the reason I go to the shows and do what I do. I’ve been lucky that people have seen my pictures and they’ve been featured in a few places. For me, I could do this forever even if I keep all the pictures under my bed. For me it’s a memento of my favorite shows.
The first time I heard Wiki speak at a media event on the Lower East Side, he’d lost three teeth after getting punched. On the floor with RATKING, Patrick Morales rhymed about being a “Piece of Shit,” and he meant it. He claimed his Nuyorican heritage with pride as he staggered—mic in one hand, brown-bag 40 in the other—grinning and bleeding through his set. Wiki was young sabotage waiting to implode, slamming the mic to his forehead and laughing about his damaged grill through anecdotes on his worthlessness.