Multi-genre musician Princess Nokia releases new song “No Effort” and accompanying music video. The song is a catchy tune with an early 2000s vibe, and the video is set in an East Harlem park. To quote Nokia, the song is a “love letter to the girls in the hood.” The song is her latest release since her dual album release in 2020, Everything is Beautiful and Everything Sucks.
“No Effort” and its video are reminiscent of early 2000s high school movies; the women in the video are the cool girls spending their time (presumably after school) in the park. We’re reminded of high school by what sound like school bells in the background. The women clad in cool, simple, classic clothes — ripped jeans and puffer jackets — and Nokia has her hair pulled back into a high ponytail. Watch the video and listen to the song here:
The chorus describes the cool girl persona in a nutshell: “Look at me, so clean, no effort/Ponytail, ripped jeans, no effort/Face clean, gold ring, no effort.” The cool girl doesn’t have to try to be perfect; she just is. Nokia also references the current “clean look” trend, which is a beauty and fashion movement that is characterized by a dewy complexion, natural-looking makeup and skin and simple, classic clothes and lines. The style overlaps with the model off-duty look. To flesh out the picture for those unfamiliar, Bella Hadid and Zoë Kravitzs’ styles epitomize this trend.
When compared to women who are beautiful without trying, “it’s no competition.”
In the first verse, Nokia discusses sex overtly, but it remains playful and fun, as if a group of girlfriends are talking to each other: “It’s a hot girl summer and I pulled up on my bike/It’s a wet hot summer and I feel like cherry pie/Get a threesome going ‘cause you know that’s what I like.” The cherry pie is a symbol for something sweet and tart, something innocent and sexual at the same time.
In the second and final verse, Nokia also talks about her love for Harlem and how it is the stage for this story: “And in case you wonderin’, I’m from Harlem, babe/I’m the diplomat girl with the Harlem shake.” Overall, this song tells the story of girls growing up in Harlem in an exciting, fun way.