“Whenever I was recording, I would go to LA, I would go somewhere else, and then I would run away,” Rico Nasty recently revealed about her creative process.This time, however, the onset of the pandemic forced the DMV native to stay in Maryland and record her debut nightmare vacation Photo album on home page.
In hindsight, the scene holds up to a stage where Rico, born Maria-Cecilia Kelly, is her truest self yet. It’s clear the emotional rapper crafted her latest platform. Her ability to keep her voice cohesive despite enlisting a total of 16 different producers across the 16 tracks is a testament to this. The sound that listeners first hear through her breakout “Smack A Bitch” is very half-baked, with Rico skipping beats that Kenny Beats didn’t even finish. Yet the 23-year-old found a way to pinpoint punchy iterations of the same punk-rap cut.
exist nightmare vacation, Rico Nasty strikes a deft balance between comfort and strangeness. On songs like “Candy,” “Let It Out,” and “OHFR,” Trap Lavigne possesses the stirring energy that made her “Smack A Bitch” a success, and allows cuts like this to anchor the cohesiveness of the project.
All the while, she’s exploring new boundaries. While “IPHONE” finds itself in the same vein as these tracks, the high-pitched and computerized vocals set it apart in a few ways as Rico reflects on her aloofness in a relationship. The mood comes with structure and content as she puts on the more melodic boots of “Don’t Like Me,” featuring Don Toliver and Gucci Mane, and “Back & Forth,” featuring Aminé.
While sticking to the gritty elements of her signature catalog, she offers more gentle variations on tracks like “No Debate,” “Own It,” and “Loser,” which features Trippie Redd. On these offerings, Rico leans more toward her Pop ambitions, offering a commercial outlet to casual listeners.
It all comes together as Rico repackages the tune into a combo cut featuring Sukihana, Rubi Rose, and ppcocaine, weaving together a path that truly leads to “Smack A Bitch.” As the song materializes, her collaborators all pay homage to Rico’s own militant spirit in some form.While it’s prone to some clinical coercion, it marks a valid conclusion to Housewarming nightmare vacation, cementing Rico’s position in her own estate.It also sets the stage for the real journey nightmare vacation Rico recently released a comic book after the physical album. The plot of the book revolves around Rico’s spaceship crashing on Earth while recording her album in space.
When the fictional story finds her enlisting her musical alter ego in order to survive, there are poignant parallels to the voyage Rico has been on in recent years. Unexpectedly, she’s cultivated a niche for herself that continues to bring her closer to mainstream ears—whether she wants it or not.
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