I know I already wrote about her in my first article about female rappers I love, but I felt like I had to do a whole piece on Rico. Rick Nasty is easily one of my favorite artists currently, and she has been ever since I first started listening to her two years ago. Everything about Rico and how she approaches her art is different. She raps with an intensity that I have never heard a female rapper use before. Some of her songs toe the line between trap and metal; she is making way harder music than almost every single male rapper right now. Rico’s style and aesthetic is just as crazy and as unique as her music. She embraces vibrant colors with her clothing and makeup, creating looks that are totally her own. I promise you will not find someone who dresses like Rico unless they are copying her. I really do believe Rico will be a leader in the future of rap. When you first heard artists like Kendrick Lamar or Kanye or Jay Z, I’m sure you could tell by their talent and charisma that they would be superstars. I truly feel this way about Rico. She connects with her fans on a deeper level than most artists, and her raw honesty about who she is and how she feels is truly appreciated. She is a visionary with her music, music videos, and her fashion, and she will definitely be a household name in hip hop for a long time.
Rico Nasty was born in NYC but moved to the DMV area(Washington D.C.) at a young age. This is where she grew up and still resides. Her dad was a rapper early in her life, and being around him inspired her to make music as well. When she was 11, her parents sent her to boarding school, but she was kicked out after a short time for being caught smoking weed. Around this time, her parents divorced, and her dad leaving her life made her act out even more. Through her first two years of high school, she was in and out of her mom’s house, staying out to party for days on end. Around this time, she started rapping for real. Her boyfriend and people in her community gassed her up so much that she decided to take it seriously. At age 16, she got pregnant. Shortly after, her boyfriend died from an asthma attack(that she suspected was caused from drinking lean). This changed her whole mindset on life. Her only goal became to raise her son and make money rapping so they could have a good life. Her first mixtape, Summer’s Eve, which was released at the end of her time in high school, garnered enough regional success to get her foot in the door and make rapping her full-blown career.
Rico didn’t start to blow up nationally until 2016 when her songs “Hey Arnold” and “iCarly” went viral. “Hey Arnold” was the first song I personally heard by her; hearing this image it easy to see she was a budding superstar. This track is a bubblegum trap banger where Rico raps in a sing-songy voice that is very ironic due to the lyrical content and attitude she raps with. “iCarly” has a similar style; the instrumental is a weird chopped trap version of the iCarly theme song, with Rico using this same sing-songy style. The success these songs generated have her momentum into the next year, and the releases of her mixtapes The Tales of Tacobella and Sugar Trap 2 got her recognized as one of the top fresh faces in hip hop. Sugar Trap 2 was especially popular, and it garnered another hit in “Key Lime OG, ” which really blew up when fellow DMV rapper Shy Glizzy remixed it. Rico really raised her intensity with this track, and it is clear to see where the yell-rapping style she employs now had started.
About halfway through 2018, Rico Nasty releases her debut album, Nasty. This record was on my year-end list of best albums for 2018, and it is still one of my favorite albums to come out in the last year and a half. I highly encourage you to listen to the whole thing. Rico really pushed the boundaries of what she could do with this album, in turn making a hip hop sound that completely unique and original; it is especially for a female artist. The two biggest hits on this record are the metal driven “Rage” and “Smack a Bitch.” “Rage” has a sludge-metal infused trap instrumental, and features Rico straight up screaming her raps. Her careless attitude bleeds through this track with the first bar, with Rico yelling “goodness gracious I might give a fuck on a rare occasion.” The chorus of this song is iconic. As Rico yells “I like bad bitches who be RAGIN’” she screams the word RAGE in the background. This track really gets the blood boiling in the best way. “Smack a Bitch” is a little faster, with more of a nu-metal or hardcore punk vibe. Rick carries the same attitude as she did on “Rage” on this cut, yell-rapping the verses once again. Rico is warning people not to test her, and that she is ”glad I didn’t have to smack a bitch today.” That sentiment could change tomorrow, so stay in line around Rico unless you want to get smacked.
After dropping the singles “Guap, ” “Sandy, ” and “Roof, ” which are all bangers and are all produced by her frequent collaborator Kenny Beats(who I will write a piece on soon), Rico released the project titled Anger Management in spring of 2019. This project is a collaboration with Kenny Beats, who seems to get the most out of Rico’s potential. Anger Management is of my favorite record of 2019 so far. It features weird and futuristic edm infused trap beats, and each song is a banger. My favorite tracks are probably “Cold” and “Big Titties, ” which features the rap group Earthgang. “Cold” features this weird heavy trap beat that infuses EDM trap with hip hop trap, and Rico spits with as much intensity as ever on this cut. On the chorus, Rico raps “None of these as cold as me!” which I wholeheartedly agree with because no one is as cold as Rico.”Big Titties” is a funky trap cut with weird horns and bells that remind me of some mid-2000s dance rap beats. It features excellent verses from both Earthgang members, and this track has one of my favorite flows Rico has rapped with so far. 2019 also saw the release of her banger “Tia Tamera” with Doja Cat. This is a horn-driven trap banger also about big boobies, which I’m sure we can all appreciate. It’s one of the best singles of 2019 so definitely check it out.
Rico Nasty’s aesthetic through her music videos and outfits is just as crazy and different as her music is. A lot of her videos have a very late 90s feel, with a lot of in your face rapping into a fisheye lens. My favorite video of hers is the one for “Rage.” it definitely fits the vibe of the song. Rick head bangs her long black hair throughout the video and is being filmed from behind a fence, which makes her look like she’s trying to break free from a cage. Rico’s outfits are very different and eclectic as well. She is known for weird and interesting hairdos like her signature spiky mohawk, as well as bright colors in her outfits and make-up. The photos in this article feature some of my favorite looks from Rico. She is totally worth following on Instagram just to see all of her awesome looks that she creates.
Rico Nasty has a very dedicated fan group that loves how open and raw she is. Rick bears everything online to her fans, and they appreciate how honest she is about her life. She struggles from mental health issues and doesn’t hide it, and it is very inspiring to see her be who she truly is at all times. She knows she’s not perfect. I think Rico is a phenomenal role model for everything she has been through. I hope little girls look up to her and see everything they can achieve. Please check out her music if you haven’t, I promise you will not regret it. Click the Spotify link below to check her out!