RICO NASTY – NIGHTMARE VACATION REVIEW

Ever since I first started listening to her about two and a half years ago, Rico Nasty has been one of my favorite new artists. Her sound and style have captivated me from the very moment I started paying attention to her. No one is like Rico Nasty; in regards to music and fashion, she has always expressed herself in ways that are unlike most other people within the Hip Hop industry. Rico Nasty has always gone back and forth from a bubbly “Sugar Trap” feeling and a very intense “Heavy Metal Trap” sentiment; half of her music has a super deep-fried and distorted Melodic Auto-tune Trap sound, and the other half of her music has a super Hardcore and Punk Trap sound with screamed vocals and Metal guitar riffs. Of course, she does have some more normal Party-Trap music sprinkled into her catalog as well; it seems like Rico Nasty can excel at any kind of music she wants to make. Nightmare Vacation is Rico Nasty’s long-awaited major-label debut record. I have been highly anticipating this album since it was announced earlier this year. Rico’s 2019 mixtape Anger Management was one of my favorite projects from 2019, and I have every reason to believe that this record will be one of my favorites from 2020. With that being said, here is my opinion of Rico Nasty’s new album Anger Management. Please let me know how you feel about this record in the comments below, and let me know what your favorite songs are from Nightmare Vacation down there as well.

Right from the start, Nightmare Vacation is bold and brash and in your face. This record gets right to the point with the opening track, ‘Candy.’ The production for this song is super dark and distorted. It has a heavy amount of bass, and the sound effects in the background are very punchy and buzzy. This kind of instrumental is perfect for Rico’s vocals because she can naturally switch back and forth from a cute and bubbly sounding voice to harsh screaming that one probably would not expect from a female rapper. ‘Candy’ is an earworm; once you hear this track, it will be hard to get out of your head. Just writing about it is going to have Rico Nasty’s voice screaming “Can you feel me?!?” stuck in my head for the next hour and a half. Following this, we get the only track on the record with multiple features, ‘Don’t Like Me’ featuring Don Tolliver and Gucci Mane. This track brings us into the “Sugar Trap” phase of Rico Nasty’s music; it is easily one of the softer and sweeter tracks on this record. The instrumental for this track reminds me of the bubbly Caribbean Trap music which Travis Scott and Young Thug made popular a few years ago. The melody reminds me a lot of songs like ‘pick up the phone’ or ‘Relationship.’ Gucci Mane and Don Tolliver do their thing on this track, but Rico’s icy flows and bright vocals make this track. If you are into that Caribbean Trap sound, you will be into ‘Don’t Like Me.’ ‘Check Me Out’ brings up right back to the Heavy Metal Trap that Rico Nasty excels at. ‘Check Me Out’ brings an extraordinary amount of punch for how long it is. At 1:43, it is the shortest track on this album; I do not think it needs to be any longer though, because the point gets across pretty clearly. On this track, Rico is in her element; she is just flexing her eccentric style and personality and showing why she is one of the most unique and interesting artists around right now. Following this, we get ‘IPHONE,’ which was produced by Dylan Brady of 100 gecs. This is one of the weirdest songs on this record, and that is saying something. ‘IPHONE’ has the kind of Hyper-Pop and intense EDM sound that 100 gecs is known for; the melody is super distorted and the beat is pretty abrasive. Rico Nasty’s vocals match up with the sound of this song so well. ‘IPHONE’ matches the energy of the Heavy Metal Trap songs on this album so well even though it has the most sparkling melody on this record. ‘IPHONE’ is a super eccentric track, and that is what makes it so great.

‘STFU’ has the kind of intense and harsh sound that you would expect to hear from a Rico Nasty track, without as much of a Heavy Metal-tinted instrumental as some of the other songs on this album. The beat on this song is still very distorted and abrasive, and it reminds me a lot of some of the music Father and KEY made famous in the underground Trap game a few years ago. This is another song that has is such an earworm and will get stuck in my head when I hear it. I love how fast Rico’s rapping flows are on this song because it goes with the energy of the instrumental so well. Next, we have the track ‘Back and Forth,’ which features Amine. It is obvious that the instrumental and overall sound of this song is heavily influenced by Amine, as the melody and beat remind me so much of the laid back West Coast sound that he is known for. Rico Nasty morphs into a West Coast-style rapper so easily on this track; her vocals and flows are so smooth and sound very natural on this kind of instrumental. Amine and Rico Nasty have such great chemistry on this track, as they have when they have collaborated in the past. I would love to hear a whole project from these two rappers together because they do bring out the best in each other. ‘Girl Scouts’ brings us back to the world of abrasive underground Trap that we heard on the song ‘STFU.’ This song has a very similar beat style to that track, but it has a weird melody that sounds like almost sounds like the way chimes sound before a big storm. Honestly, the instrumental for this song almost sounds like it is straight out of a horror movie. Rico Nasty’s vocals go with the instrumental so well, as her voice is just as strange and scary as the melody and beat are. I love how tough and intense this track is, and it is one of the major highlights from this record(which is saying something).

Don’t be shy (Bitch, woo)Let it out (Let it out)
If you wanna rage (If you wanna rage)
Let it out (Baby girl, just let it out, ayy, ayy)
Throw the fade (Throw the fade)
What you barkin’ ’bout? (What the fuck these bitches barkin’ ’bout?) If you wanna bang (Huh? Huh?). Then bang it out (Bitch)…

Speaking of intense and scary, the next track on Rico Nasty’s Nightmare Vacation is ‘Let It Out.’ It is also one of my favorite songs on this record, as there is really nothing like it. It combines the abrasive Underground Trap sound with an Industrial Heavy Metal Trap sound that is equally as extreme. The vocals on this song are just and fierce as the instrumental is. If you know Rico Nasty’s song ‘Rage,’ this is like the 2020 version of that song. If you are a fan of the scary and in your face nature of ‘Rage,’ ‘Let It Out’ is a song for you. In regards to what one would expect to hear from Rico Nasty, ‘Loser,’ featuring Trippie Redd, is probably the most eclectic sounding song on the album. This track almost has a sort of a 60s Funk Rock element to the guitar riff and the beat. It reminds me a lot of the Southern Funk-style Trap R&B music that Rod Wave has become known for over the last couple of years. This song highlights Rico Nasty’s overall talent and her ability to adapt, as she sounds just as natural on this track as she does on any other song from this record. Trippie Redd matches Rico’s energy very well on this track, and his quirky nature makes me a great feature on this song. Following this, we get ‘No Debate,’ which drops the Funk element from the last track but still does have a sort of Trap R&B feeling to it. Once again, it shows off Rico Nasty’s diversity as an artist, because this kind of song is not what one would expect to hear from Rico Nasty. ‘No Debate’ is probably the most low key song on this record. Honestly, to me, it just sounds like a typical Trap R&B song that would come on at the club which you do not really pay attention to. It is a decent song, but nothing stands out about it. ‘Pussy Poppin’ is the opposite when it comes to standing out; this is one of the most striking songs on this record. It has a super bass-heavy and bouncy beat that just makes you want to dance and an old school melody that reminds me of early 2000s Snap music. This track sounds a lot like something the City Girls or Megan Thee Stallion would put out; the bold and silly nature of the lyrics go very well with what is popular in 2020.

After a short departure into more of a club music section of the record, Rico brings back the Heavy Metal Trap feeling for the song ‘OHFR?’ This song is another major highlight for me from this record, and it combines everything so great about Rico Nasty and this sound. The instrumental is super hard and tough and almost scary sounding; Rico’s vocals have the same gruff energy as the instrumental, and her flow just sounds perfect on this beat. If you are a fan of her classic songs like ‘Smack A Bitch’ or ‘Trust Issues,’ then ‘OHFR?’ is a song for you. ’10Fo’ is another song that has the Heavy Metal Trap sound that Rico Nasty is so good at making. This is another track that has a sort of creepy melody to it that sounds like it would come out of an old school horror movie. ’10Fo’ has a super bass-heavy and grimey and dirty beat, and it brings out the nastiness in Rico’s voice and flow. Although it is so good, it makes sense that this track was not a single, as it is probably a little too fierce for the general populous. Once again, if you are a fan of Rico Nasty’s more extreme sounding music, ’10Fo’ is a song you will love. Nightmare Vacation rounds out with the song ‘Own It,’ which is a song that tones down the abrasive Trap feeling a bit and brings out a bit more of a club-Trap music sound. This song kind of takes the harsh Trap sound that Rico is known for and makes it more palatable for casual Hip Hop listeners. If I was introducing someone to Rico Nasty’s music for the first time, ‘Own It’ would be a perfect song to show them. It does capture a bit of the harsh nature that a lot of her music has, but it is still bouncy and fun and will make anyone want to dance. ‘Own It’ is a pretty great way to round out this record, as it combines a lot of the elements that make Rico Nasty so great.

As I stated in the introduction, Rico Nasty’s Nightmare Vacation was one of my most anticipated record of 2020. I have to say that it did not disappoint in the slightest. Everything great about Rico Nasty is highlighted in this record. Rico Nasty’s variety of sounds and influences shine through; her bubbly Sugar Trap sound and her intense Heavy Metal Trap sound are both equally represented and shine for how great and unique they are. Rico Nasty also shows some diversity on this record, proving that she can do more than just make the kind of music she is known for. Rico Nasty’s Nightmare Vacation is everything I wanted it to be and more, and I can not wait to see what Rico does next, as she excels at everything she does.

Favorite Songs: Candy, Check Me Out, IPHONE, STFU, Back & Forth(Feat. Amine), Girl Scouts, Let It Out, 10Fo, Own It

8.52/10

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