For the past few years, the Maryland rapper Rico Nasty has been slowly building out the kind of fervent word-of-mouth cult audience that rappers are supposed to build up before they get famous. Without any big-rapper cosigns, she’s steadily cranked out five mixtapes and established herself as a furious, charismatic live performer. And today, she’s released Nasty, which she’s calling a mixtape but which effectively functions as a major-label debut. And it slaps. Hard.
Rico Nasty works within the loosely-defined SoundCloud-rap sphere, barking hard over convulsive lo-fi beats. She makes moshpit music, and sometimes she goes into the kind of quasi-emo singing that seems to be enormously popular within the young rap generation for whatever reason. But it bears mentioning that she is really good at this, and that Nasty is probably the most complete album-length statement I’ve heard from the SoundCloud-rap world.
Nasty features appearances from Rico’s peers BlocBoy JB and Lil Gnar, as well as one song, “Countin’ Up,” that effectively rewrites N.O.R.E.’s landmark 1998 hit “Superthug,” a song that came out when Rico was one year old. More than anything, though, the tape offers a chance to hear Rico ripping some excellent beats to pieces. You should really give it a shot. It’s below.
Nasty is out now.