American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Maryland, Maria-Cecilia Simone Kelly, known professionally as Rico Nasty, unreleased new album project with 17 tracks leaked online.
Rico Nasty’s life is as wild as one of his songs. Rico was still in high school when he began publishing songs on SoundCloud four years ago. In rap words, that’s sluggish, but Rico hasn’t slowed down. In the year and a half after 2020’s Nightmare Vacation, her major-label debut album, Rico has released a bunch of loose songs, announced and dropped one project (Rx), then announced and released Las Ruinas this week. I’m not sure how many new fans Nightmare Vacation gained Rico. I don’t know how many new listeners Las Ruinas will bring in, but Rico appears to like following her ideas. She then changes Las Ruinas’ direction.
Rico’s tracks are dance-oriented. She’s one of the few rappers to truly embrace hyperpop and its club-night transcendence, and many of her tracks are hyped-up choruses that sound best in the dark. She dances more on “Las Ruinas.” Teezo Touchdown’s smooth hook makes “Messy” seem like a dance tune. “One On 5” sounds like sucking a lime and pulses. On “Dance Scream,” she raps over a Crystal Castles rhythm from another dimension. Marshmello, a renowned EDM name, collaborated hard. Rico covers Fred Again’s “Jungle.” She waits two minutes before tearing up. Las Ruinas has Rico’s strong rhythms. She likes a track before performing her fast-paced spitting.
Several tunes contain Rico Nasty’s signature fire throughout. “Intrusive” is guttural and industrial, and Rico is in excellent shittalking form, saying “You bitches suck!” “I’m your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. My confidence doesn’t require accolades. You used my flow, man, keep it. On “Vaderz,” she and Bktherula swap lines about copycats. “She has a fan page for me… She’s a fake. “Black Punk” is a rallying cry for everyone Rico has inspired, yet it’s caustic and unwelcoming.
Still humorous, her lyrics. “Blow Me” has a joke that always makes me chuckle. Rico exclaims with an Australian accent, “G’day, buddy!” In “Gotsta Get Paid,” co-produced by 100 gecs, she says, “Bitches smoke my weed/ Now she’s wheezing with COVID cough/ Smoke it all or don’t smoke at all, motherfucker.” Rico is sad and humorous. “You stole my love and went away/You made me shave my head like Britney/And you know, bitch, I got the juice, my nickname should be Simply/And I know I should be done with you, but I’m too invested/Made you the guy you are now, and all I want is credit.”
On Las Ruinas, Rico is more vulnerable, particularly on the last few songs, when she sings over guitars about her hardships. Best are “Easy” and “Into the Dark.” On “Easy,” she sings about feeling sad. “Miss my makeup so my viewers don’t believe I cried before the show. She explains, “I find ugly things attractive, thus that defines me.” “Don’t tell me what you’d do in my situation; that’s not me. Since you discovered me, I’ve been a mess. “I felt like a project at first, trying to be what you wanted.” On “Into The Gloomy,” she gets close to emo-rap with a sluggish, dark sound and lyrics about feeling alone and abandoned.
Her music has always been open. Even when she’s rude and twisted up, she’s hiding deep sentiments. Las Ruinas’ tough-as-nails surface gives way to a sweeter, gentler center without compromising Rico Nasty’s energy. Las Ruinas is a low-key, less aggressive Rico production, but it’s still amazing. She rose to prominence in 2018 with singles such as “Smack a Bitch” and “Poppin”.
- Vaderz (feat. Bktherula)
- Black Punk
- Messy (feat. Teezo Touchdown & Bktherula)
- Phuckin Lady
- One On 5
- Gotsta Get Paid
- Watch Your Man (feat. Marshmello)
- Blow Me
- Jungle (Rico Nasty Remix)
- Dance Scream
- Focus On Me
- Always (Skit)
- Into the Dark
- Chicken Nugget