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Review: Rico Nasty’s Major-Label Debut Is a Dynamic Introduction

The queen of ‘sugar trap’ brings passionate raps and a sense of humor to ‘Nasty’

rico nasty album review

Felicia Abban

rico nasty album review

Hip-hop’s
Internet-mediated underground currently teems with talented women like
Maryland MC Rico Nasty. While her debut mixtape for
Atlantic Records doesn’t feel like a major creative breakthrough, it’s a
solid introduction to a dynamic, hard-charging voice in what Rico
herself dubs “sugar trap.” She raps with adrenalized passion on the
Blocboy JB-assisted “In The Air” and freestyles with
vigor over N.O.R.E.’s “Superthug” beat on “Countin’ Up,” evoking the
spirit of vintage Crime Mob and Gangsta Boo. She takes time out to be
playful, too, dropping subtly funny ad-libs like a verse-punctuating
“Duhhh?” Nasty has
a lot of raps about the power of pussy, naturally. But she’s most
impressive when she occasional downshifts from her guttural, angry shout
to unveil different flows — a cool, provocative whisper on “Pressing
Me,” and a sing-song Auto-Tune lilt on “Won’t Change”
– and a surprising versatility that’s worth further development.

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