Rico Nasty’s where rap, pop, and punk collide.
( @riconasty / Instagram)
Edgy, aggressive and with the right touch of punk, rapper Rico Nasty has been killing the game. After her recent releases of her singles Own It and IPHONE, a makeup collaboration with Il Makiage, a partnership with Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty, and the release of her new album Nightmare Vacation on the horizon, she seems to be finally getting the recognition she deserves. With her unique sound and aesthetic, unapologetic personality, and ability to make bop after bop, more people need to realize that the age of Rico Nasty is upon us.
Rap is one of, if not the most popular music genre right now, and there is no shortage of new and established rap artists making music. However, Rico Nasty still manages to set herself apart from the rest of the genre through her distinctive trap-punk approach to rap music.
Growing up, Rico was into heavy metal bands like Slipknot; It was an unpopular preference among her peers that labeled her as “emo.” Rico took this narrative and ran with it though, maintaining obvious heavy metal and emo influences in her music and style to this day. Many of her tracks, like her TikTok famous song Smack a Bitch, feature combative and explicit lyrics spat angrily at the listener, characteristics all commonly found in heavy metal. However, Rico adds a hip hop and trap flair, like combining electric guitar riffs with hard-hitting beats, that makes her music more palatable to a wider audience and uniquely hers.
Rico also stands out as a person of color who embraces emo, goth, and punk culture when it comes to her personal style and aesthetic –, a rarity in the music industry. Although there are other black rap artists that have embraced emo culture, Lil Uzi Vert being a notable one, they are few and far between.
From combining laid edges and finger waves with rocking hair spiked into a mohawk, to incorporating chains, tracksuits, leather, spikes, platform shoes, and impossibly long acrylics into her outfits, Rico Nasty represents a rare meeting of black and goth, emo, and punk aesthetics.
She’s said she draws inspiration from rock icons like Joan Jett and rap and pop artists like Nicki Minaj and Rihanna.
“I don’t know where I fit,” Rico said in an interview with NME magazine. “I don’t really resonate with punk stars because I’m not that hardcore. I like bubbles and stuff; I’m not harsh and crazy. And with this new album [Nightmare Vacation], I definitely resonate with being a pop-punk princess.”
Rico Nasty’s trap-punk sound and aesthetic and her unapologetic approach to embracing who she is makes her someone that misfits everywhere can see themselves in. I know personally whenever I put one of her songs on she never fails to make me feel like I can do anything, that I am that bitch. Rico Nasty proves that rap, pop, punk, rock, goth, and emo are one epic mixture. So stream Nightmare Vacation when it drops, or I just might have to smack a bitch.
Taesha Jones is an Editorial Print and Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She enjoys hanging out with her cat, reading fiction novels, applying lipgloss, and memorizing female rap verses. Her passions include combatting racial injustice, raising cultural awareness, and promoting a more diversified society. Dm her on Instagram @taeeesha or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.