Princess Superstar is no newbie in hip hop world, but her just released album “I’m A Firecracker” is dropping some fresh new beats. Mixing up psychedelic rock with poppy sass, the EP includes highlight song “Push You Away” with highly relatable comical lyrics like “I didn’t mean it, I was on my period” and “I’ll put your real name back into my phone.”
Honest, funny, and authentic this pop culture questioning female hip hop artist, mother and new reality show TV star of “I Love Princess Superstar” is a pioneer in her genre. The female rapper he has been busting out rhymes for over fifteen years and has the street cred to prove it [check out her “Keith ‘N Me” music video with Kool Keith here].
Princess Superstar spent some time talking to me from her enviable spot sunbathing in the Hamptons last week about the current state of the music industry, managing rockstar motherhood without a nanny, being a trailblazer, her new album and her goal jeans. Check out our interview below and my favorite track on her new album album “Love Light Bliss!”
Princess Superstar: Can you hear me okay? …I’m at the beach.
Nicole: Oh nice! What a beautiful day to be at the beach!
Princess Superstar: I know, it’s amazing.
Nicole: Are you on the East or West Coast?
Princess Superstar: East Coast, I’m in the Hamptons right now.
Nicole: Maybe I’ll start with “Love Light Bliss” …which is so different than your other couple of songs I’ve heard. But I absolutely love it! I think it’s like a genius sort of fusion of psychedelic funky hip hop.
Princess Superstar: Thanks… Yeah, I mean that’s kind of what I was going for.
Nicole: I would love to have you talk to me a little bit about your choice to include it on the album specifically, but then more generally how you think that psychedelic rock–since I know you’ve said you’re a fan of it–is sort of re-emerging in the music world.
Princess Superstar: Yeah, I mean I think that this kind of music is timeless in a certain way. It’s cool that it’s re-emerging cause I feel like everyone loves it whether they grew up on it or their parents did or whatever. Now it’s just kind of like you need some modern reinterpretations of it making it fresh and new again and so I’m way into it. And, on the other hand, I’m also super into just straight up electronic and straight up hip hop music too. So I guess I just wanted to bring all of those things to my album. I’ve always been kind of like a hodgepodge of genres. I never liked to be pigeonholed into any one so my new album really reflects that.
Nicole: In that way, I think you are definitely considered a trailblazer in the industry, especially for women by the way you have sort of straddled different genres. Do you think you see anyone today, any of the young female artists sort of trailblazing a way of their own?
Princess Superstar: Uh, trailblazing? I mean, not really. [laughs] I mean I can say that I like a lot of the young female artists. I like them a lot. …Whether I would call them trailblazers, mmm, you know what I mean? I feel like they’re doing cool shit but not necessarily like new shit. You know?
Nicole: When you started doing what you were doing you were kind of one of the only ones.
Princess Superstar: Yes, I was.
Nicole: [laughter] Can you talk about some of the significant changes you’ve seen in the past twenty years both in the music industry and for women in particular?
Princess Superstar: Well I think that the biggest change that I’ve seen is just like women getting more successful in general in the music business and really taken more seriously. Especially in hip hop because, yeah, you really did not see that twenty years ago. First of all, there were so few women rappers and the ones that were you know were really marginalized. You had a few breakthroughs like Lil’ Kim and stuff like that but now you really have a lot of female artists who are really holding it down in their own right. You see Nikki Minaj is winning like Best [5th consecutive for Female Hip Hop] Artist every year at the BET awards and that’s really cool. I’m not a fan of everything she does or whatever but I appreciate the fact that women are really seen as more as equals in the music world.
Nicole: You’ve sort of taken a little bit of time off to just sort of be a mom, is that right? The past five or six years?
Princess Superstar: Well, she’s only three but I did take a lot of time off–I was DJing for a little while. I sort of got lost in DJ land. It’s funny, before sort of EDM broke in the U.S., there was like a huge amazing scene in Europe and I was part of that being a DJ for a while. But that sort of lost me to American audiences so people really lost track of me over here because I was off DJing for awhile. And then I did take time off to have the baby and now I am back! [laughs] And happy to be back!
Nicole: Do you feel like for women that there is this pressure where your facebook feed should be all about your child and you should have either a conventional job or stay at home–whereas you are just out there you are one of the women who are embracing being a rockstar and a DJ and music in your life? Do you ever feel that push back from your peers or society at large to not be a rockstar?
Princess Superstar: No, no. I feel like people are really actually into it. The fact that I’m a mom and I do what I do, people really like it because it’s kind of the like the idea of having it all or whatever–that fantasy. [laughs] Which, you know, I don’t really know what having it all means. [laughter] I still struggle. But yeah, I’ve got nothing but positive feedback from that.
Nicole: I feel like we’re seeing a lot more women like P!nk, more female music role-models who are showing that you can be a mom and have a successful music career.
Princess Superstar: Oh yeah, definitely. I mean you know you really need a lot of help and also you have to have a lot of dedication to being a good mom you know because it would be very easy to be like ‘I’m going on tour, I’ll see you later.” But like, you can’t abandon your child and you know luckily I have this amazing husband who is a super hands on father. We don’t really have a nanny or anything. We just do it all ourselves. I’m really proud of that fact because I think parenting in the early years especially is so important and a lot of people will pass it off to others. And that’s not just like rock star moms, that’s a lot of other moms too–like wealthy. I live in the Upper East Side in New York and it’s a little bit crazy over there. It’s just like moms aren’t–like they don’t even have jobs and they have nannies, right? So, I don’t know, that always disturbs me.
Nicole: Yeah you don’t get those early years back.
Princess Superstar: No, you don’t.
Nicole: You were born in New York, but then you were raised in Pennsylvania?
Princess Superstar: Yeah, I was born up in Washington Heights and we lived there until I was three and then moved to Pennsylvania because my parents wanted more like nature, you know?
Nicole: So you bring a lot to the table with your upbringing… How do you think that all of those things come together for you in raising your child and in your life today?
Princess Superstar: I’m really glad that I got like the best of both worlds, like the urban experience and suburban experience. I think with that upbringing that formed what I rap about. I come from a unique experience I guess. And my daughter, we’re raising her in New York city but I don’t know for how long because I definitely am like a nature person so I’m not sure where we’re gonna go but I don’t really see us–well I do always see us having a place in New York–but maybe not our main place or something.
Nicole: Because you brought up your rapping and your lyrics I have to tell you that they–your wit–is so fantastic. I was listening to the “Push You Away” song that was premiered and I love the lines where you say, “I didn’t mean it I was on my period.” [laughter] “I’ll put your real name back in my phone.” [laughter] You have this way of striking a balance between funny and truth that is just so spot-on and I’m wondering does that come from how you were raised or how do you strike that balance so brilliantly?
Princess Superstar: Hmmm…that’s a really good question. I don’t know. Sometimes the songs just come through me, it’s almost like I’m not even writing them, you know? There’s the Je ne sais quoi magic. But I guess I just kind of draw from my own life experience and then try to write about it. I always loved humor so much because humor is kind of what saved me in sad times or tragic times..so I always try to put humor in my songs because I feel like there’s nothing funnier than things that are true. Like the things that you were saying, those lyrics–that’s real humor when you can really relate to it and it’s true.
Nicole: And don’t even get me started on the white jeans segment of your new show!
Princess Superstar: [laughter]
Nicole: Oh My God! How many times have I been like jumping up and down pulling my belt loops..[laughter]
Princess Superstar: Yeah, breaking the belt loops… I’ve done it all!
Nicole: Oh yeah! I shared that on my facebook and I was like, ‘I need Miguel.’
Princess Superstar: Oh! That’s so sweet! I love that, he’s gonna love that! [laughter] It’s so true! Yeah, that’s the thing with the reality show I really wanted to show some universal things on it as well as some things that are unique to me and Miguel. I’m so glad you could relate to that because I figured most women could.
Nicole: I see you’re really taking the time to highlight humor in pop culture generally but also for women and I think it’s so awesome that you are doing that.
RELATED: Princess Superstar “I’m A Firecracker” Music Video Lights Up Times Square in 4th of July Spirit
Princess Superstar Thanks!
Nicole: And I can’t not ask, do you have favorite brand of jeans?
Princess Superstar: [laughs] No! Because I’m still trying to fit into those white ones and I don’t even know what brand they are because it’s some weird Italian thing I bought like eight years ago. [laughter] I don’t even know what they’re called.
Nicole: Those are the goal jeans and we’re not moving on until those fit!
Princess Superstar: Exactly! I’m so attached! [laughter]
Princess Superstar “I’M A FIRECRACKER” TRACKLIST
I’m a Firecracker
Push You Away
Love Light Bliss
Make You Happy
WE ASKED PRINCESS SUPERSTAR
If you had to choose one song title to describe your personality–any song in the world–which would it be?
What is the last album you downloaded or purchased?
“Free To Be You and Me”
Do you have a charity that is close to your heart?
Big Brothers / Big Sisters
By Nicole Hanratty
Posted July 17, 2014