A sea of Rico Nasty fans who were 100% about the raging life flooded The Echo in Silver Lake during the rising rapper’s Nasty Tour stop in Los Angeles last week. The room was filled with youthful energy from all different types of individuals gathered in a judgment-free zone where they could be themselves, and in a positive and welcoming environment like this one, fans can let out some aggression and have loads of fun.
“Once Upon A Time” off 2017’s Tales Of Tacobella was my first introduction to the young rapper, born Maria-Cecilia Simone Kelly, and I remember really loving her flow. More recently, when I heard “Poppin'” on an episode of Issa Rae’s HBO series Insecure, all the indicators of her imminent success became clear. From 2016’s “iCarly” to now, you can hear the evolution in her sound and she keeps getting better and more polished.
The first song she performs is “Bitch I’m Nasty” which has the crowd extremely turned up — it is the Nasty Tour after all. The show itself is the standard Rico turn up — wigs flying in the air, crowd surfing, a mosh pit, and a recap of popular cuts from her 2018 release Nasty like, “Countin’ Up,” “Trust Issues,” and “Pressing Me.”
The energy is magnetic and pulsating as Rico’s music is loud, aggressive, liberating, and daring, giving a voice to anyone who doesn’t necessarily fit in with societal norms. The 21-year-old Maryland native has the crowd in the palm of her hand, all eyes are on her. They bounce up and down as she possesses them with songs off her mixtapes Nasty and Sugar Trap 2. She is in complete control.
Before all of this went down though, Rico was nice enough to speak with me in a tiny green room, backstage. I thanked her for allowing me to interview her while she was still getting her makeup done and slid into a spot right next to her, thrust my iPhone in her direction, and pressed record.
What can fans expect when they come to a Rico Nasty show?
I feel like I want them to come with low expectations but still high ones because I don’t want them to expect too much. That brings a lot of pressure, but I just want them to expect to have fun. Have a lot of fun, let sh*t go, get some aggression off in a positive way, and be a bad b*tch while doing it.
I’ve noticed your shows get a little wild, I was watching a video and somebody had a wig swinging in the air.
Yeah, they be throwing their wigs on stage, their bras onstage, their underwear. All types of sh*t.
What’s been your wildest show experience while on tour?
This girl made me spit in her mouth.
She made you?
She made me in a sense that me and my fans have this thing where if you keep asking me for something, I’ll probably give it to you.
She said, ‘Can you please spit in my in my mouth,’ and you’re like, ‘Okay?’
She’s like, ‘I’m angry! spit my mouth, I want to be the one!’ I was like, ‘Alright.’ I went backstage and told my friends I found somebody who’s gonna let me spit in their mouth. Then I was like, ‘You know what, this shit is wild. I don’t think I’ma do it.’ I got on stage and wasn’t really going to do it but in between songs she’s like, ‘Spit in my mouth!’ It was like a little demon in the corner just yelling ‘spit in my mouth’ so I just went over there and I did it. And then at the end of the show, another girl asked me to do it and I did it. I was like, ‘This is gonna be a thing, I can’t be doing this.’ So I ain’t gonna do that sh*t no more. It was hot though. Them b*tches were sexy. It was cool.
What’s your favorite song to perform?
“Key Lime OG” because it shows me motherf*ckers have spent some time with me. A lot of people know me from “Rage” and “Countin’ Up,” and the newer songs because it’s the Nasty Tour. But if you know “Key Lime OG” that sh*t is always surprising because they’ve been here for a while.
What is some Rico Nasty show etiquette for everyone coming out to your shows?
You can dress like a bad b*tch but don’t wear heels. And don’t wear like anything that you really care about, like designer or anything, because you are in a mosh pit with guys. Nine times out of ten, they come with a t-shirt on. Don’t be mad when people bump you. People are gonna fu*cking bump you.
Or just stay away from the mosh pit.
Oh yeah, or just stay away. Because I make it my duty to be like if you don’t want to be in it go over here.
What was going on with you the day you recorded “Smack A B*tch“?
It’s crazy because the day that I recorded “Smack A B*tch” was after the mixtape release party in LA for Sugar Trap 2. So, I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was in the studio with a new producer who is my homie now, Kenny Beats, and I was trying to show off to him and show him that I could get on his beats. It wasn’t particularly about anybody when I made it until a b*tch made it about her f*cking self. If the shoe fits wear it. My fans were begging for it and it wound up being dropped and went on to be one of my biggest songs today. But at that time, in the studio, no. I wasn’t upset with anybody. I was in the most calm mood ever!
You came out with “Big Dick Energy” earlier this year. Give me an example of who has big dick energy to you.
Big dick energy is a woman who holds her own. There are so many women who have big dick energy. F*cking Michelle Obama…
Rihanna! How’d you know? Why? I didn’t want it to be my first answer because I’ve been doing interviews all day and my first answer has been Rihanna so I mean of course Rihanna. Everybody, if there is ever a question that you ask me and it’s about an artist my answer will always be Rihanna first. But yes, Rihanna has the biggest. She really does have big dick energy for real because she’s just so… people talk what they want about Rihanna and she doesn’t give a f*ck. She doesn’t stop being Rihanna. Lady Gaga has big dick energy. Serena Williams has big dick energy. Women want to be able to just be like, ‘b*tch, f*ck you. I’m me. Accept it.’ you know? It’s a lot of us out there. A lot.
You exude that too.
I feel like I have to put a name on it, but it’s been around. Women have had big dick energy before dicks came around. We were the originators.
I know Nasty was a mixtape, what’s going on with the album?
I didn’t know you guys wanted an album from me.
Come on now.
I don’t know. I guess the album can come next year.
Are you focused on other things right now?
No, no. Music is always the focus. It wouldn’t be anywhere without it. I’m always thinking about it. I would like to do another mixtape. I would like to get bigger before I do an album because I mean that’s a big word, album. And for my ego. I don’t care what everybody else is saying. For my ego. I know my goals for myself. If ya’ll want an album, let me know.
Nasty is out now via Sugar Trap. Get it here.