SUGAR TRAP QUEEN
WHO IS RICO NASTY?
Rico Nasty was born Maria Kelly in Largo, Maryland on May 7, 1997. Her father was a rapper named Beware, who influenced her music style and encouraged her to perform at an early age. Rico Nasty gave birth to a son her senior year, who motivated her to choose rap as a career as her music started to pick up. She is known for her aggressive delivery, raspy voice, and pop-punk princess “Sugar Trap” influenced lyrics.
Miss Nasty dropped her first mixtape “Summer Eve” in 2014, during her sophomore year of high school. She would go on to release three mixtapes in the span of three years, and gained an underground following. Her singles “Poppin'” and “Smack a Bitch” garnered her viral fame on platforms such as TikTok and Twitter in early 2018. Her music blew up on music platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, where her tracks racked up millions of streams and video music views. Her single “Rage” off her “Nasty” mixtape increased her following because of its outright contagious lyrics and hard-hitting beats. The mixtape received critical acclaim, and her fan following increased even more. Other singles from the tape including “Countin’ Up,” which used a known Superthug beat, caused listeners to gravitate to Rico’s reckless and cutthroat persona. Next, after a couple singles dropped, “Anger Management” released in 2019 which the artist described as an encapsulated temper tantrum. The mixtape featured artists such as SPLURGE, EARTHGANG, and Baauer. The lead single, “Big Titties” gained lots of attention for its raunchy, yet catchy lyrics. Rico Nasty’s latest drop was her first official album release named “Nightmare Vacation.” This included features from Gucci Mane, Don Toliver, Rubi Rose, and Aminé.
Joan Jett, Rihanna, and Avril Lavigne are musical influences of Rico Nasty. Rico Nasty has stated that her different personas are influenced by David Bowie, Nicki Minaj, and Tyler, the Creator.
Rico Nasty’s contemporaries include Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Yung Baby Tate, and Flo MIlli. Most of their music shares similar elements of trap and pop-punk, aggressive and sweet lyrics, and varying production sounds.
Rico Nasty’s first release and mixtape “Summer’s Eve” dropped in 2014, six days before her 17th birthday.
Her next mixtape “The Rico Story” was released two years later in the summer of 2016
Just a couple months after “The Rico Story” was dropped, Rico Nasty released her third mixtape called “Sugar Trap.”
Introducing her Tacobella persona, Rico Nasty dropped “Tales of Tacobella” in the middle of 2017.
A part two of her “Sugar Trap” mixtape was dropped in late October 2017.bm,
Rico Nasty released “Nasty” in 2018.
Rico Nasty collaborated with her close friend and frequent producer, Kenny Beats on “Anger Management” in 2019. This received a 79 Metascore on Metacritic.
Rico Nasty’s debut album “Nightmare Vacation was released in late 2020. This release received a 80 Metascore on Metacritic.
Impact Influence Legacy
It must be mentioned that as a Black woman, Rico Nasty has flipped the script on one the most used stereotypes thrown at Black women: being angry, loud, and seen. Rico Nasty has reclaimed this through her music, specifically her lyrics and her style of dress. Some of her songs usually include adlibs of her screaming, yelling, and screeching–helped by her raspy voice–adding emphasis to the message in her music. Rico has also taken back being loud with her wardrobe. Her outfits embody her eccentricity and her makeup and hairstyles always intensify her looks that demand double-takes. Despite the current social norms, Rico Nasty is purposely loud so that she is realized and recognized as someone who cannot be silenced. Rico Nasty also encourages others to be loud along with her through messages in her songs about staying true to oneself against all odds and embracing one’s uniqueness. Rico incorporates these motivating lyrics in her songs for her fans who have been bullied, felt suicidal, or felt alone. Her music helps others because she acknowledges her anger and pain and subsequently sets herself on a path to transcend her failures. Those who rap and sing with her eventually do the same.
- Kim, Michelle. “How Rico Nasty’s Rapper Dad, Churchgoing Mom, and Bossy Son Help Shape Her Music.” Pitchfork, August 1, 2018. https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/how-rico-nastys-rapper-dad-churchgoing-mom-and-bossy-son-help-shape-her-music/.
- Hobbs, Thomas. “A Conversation with Punk Rap Renegade Rico Nasty.” Dazed, October 15, 2019. https://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/46398/1/rico-nasty-anger-management-2019-interview.
- Bianca Torres. “Rico Nasty Rediscovers Who She Really Is as an Artist.” XXL Mag, January 14, 2021. https://www.xxlmag.com/rico-nasty-interview/.