Rico Nasty is just one of a crop of bold, take-no-prisoners rappers bringing a powerful dose of much-needed feminine energy to hip-hop. Nicki Minaj shouted out a few in her recent Beats 1 Radio interview with Zane Lowe, including Kash Doll and Maliibu Miitch, but for fans who’ve been thirsty for a counterbalance to rap’s overdose of masculine boasts and bad dick jokes, Rico shouldn’t be overlooked. She recently signed a deal with Atlantic Records and now, with the release of her new mixtape, Nasty, she’s ready to show fans what her steadily-building buzz is all about.
The new digital-only collection includes 14 tracks of the 21-year-old, New York City-born, Maryland-bred rapper’s signature, raspy voice and abrasive energy over thunderous, “sugar-trap” beats that could knock the speakers right out of your trunk with booming bass and ominous atmospherics to match. For the most part, Rico rides solo, bragging and menacing her way through exuberant table-shakers like “Hockey,” “Oreo,” and “In The Air.” She’s joined on the latter by Drake’s favorite, Blocboy JB, and on “Transformer” by fellow rising rap star Lil Gnar, but that’s it for features. Nasty is Rico’s big introduction to the rap mainstream and she’s not going to let anyone steal even a shred of her limelight.
The standout tracks here are “Rage,” a mosh pit-inciting trap metal monster of track that would make the most hardened gangster cringe, “Why Oh Why” an airy, catchy, coastal cruiser that will undoubtedly go up at all the outdoor functions this summer, and “Countin’ Up,” a clever rework of NORE’s Neptunes-produced classic, “Superthug.” The album bangs wall to wall, and Rico’s smirkingly confident personality shines through on every track, making Nasty well-worth the listen. You can also catch Rico on tour starting July 27 in Richmond, VA. In case you need more convincing, check out the video below, shot during Red Bull Music Festival New York.
Nasty is available now from Rico Nasty’s own Sugar Trap.