Rico Nasty is a 23-year-old rapper from Prince George’s County, Maryland. Releasing a series of projects including her 2018 Nasty mixtape and 2019 Kenny Beats produced Anger Management EP, she became one of the hottest female prospects in all of hip hop. This weekend, she finally dropped her long-awaited debut album Nightmare Vacation. With features from Don Tolliver, Gucci Mane, Aminé, and more, will Rico Nasty’s long-awaited debut fulfill fans’ expectations?
For nearly the entire duration of the record, Rico throws away the witty creativity and larger than life persona seen throughout her previous ventures and instead exchanges them for some typical banter promoting hoe culture. Whether it’s the obnoxious “STFU” or grossly sexual “Pussy Poppin”, most of the songs are so topically dense, it feels insulting to listen. While some artists can get away with this issue due to their compelling deliveries and intuitive flows, the over the top rowdy style on cuts like “Check Me Out”, “Let It Out”, and “OHFR?” are just a few of the moments that will leave you walking away with a smashing headache. Out of all these extremely forgettable moments, the ultimate low point is “Smack A Bitch” as Rico’s surprisingly decent verse is ruined by Tik Tok rappers Rubi Rose, Sukihana, and ppcocaine’s technically incoherent and vocally pretentious performances. Between her clunky utilized nasally voice and generic subject matter, what you get in this section is nothing more than some disposable rap songs worth nothing more than one visit. If it’s not grimey sex anthems plummeting the records integrity, it’s the in-your-face autotune pop ballads such as “IPHONE” and “No Debate”. Fortunately, the LP is made bearable by tracks like “Own It”, and the Trippie Redd collaboration “Loser” with their subtle messaging and smoother tones. Adding to this pool of solid songs, the intro “Candy” is the record’s sure standout as it’s the only time Nasty’s genuinely showing off the talent that made her so beloved in the first place. Giving her debut a few more formidable plays, Don Tolliver and Gucci Mane’s “Don’t Like Me” and Aminé’s “Back & Forth” feature some highly needed changes in both vocal presence and mood. Still, these few good portions are hardly enough to make Rico’s overall performance anything near average.
Behind the boards, there’s a well-produced (but painfully original) soundtrack of run of the mill trap beats. For the most part, the album’s 15 songs are split into two sonic categories. On one side, you have the spacey sound that is dominating the charts on songs like “Don’t Like Me” and “Back & Forth”, and on the other hand, there’s hard-hitting, explosive instrumentals like “Check Me Out” and “STFU”. While the ladder of the two tends to be the more creative, it brings out the worst side of Rico as “10Fo” and “Girl Scouts” (to name a few), are pretty much-screaming matches against herself. With that aside, the surefire sonic peak is “Loser” as its guitar riff, and triplet drum pattern culminate into one intoxicating experience. Also worth mentioning is the Latin oriented “Candy” and menacingly vibrant “Own It”, as their few of the only immersive sounding cuts on the entire project. As a whole, the actual soundscape presented is undoubtedly well-composed, and if these beats were in the right hands, I’m sure they would be potential smash hits.
In conclusion, Nightmare Vacation is an inconsistent mess that serves as another testament to why so many people disrespect female rappers. Rico’s stylistic choices here were just so off-kilter it threw the entire experience onto a course it clearly wasn’t cut out to handle. The most frustrating part of this entire work is that it sheers away at the progress Megan Thee Stallion achieved with her debut album Good News. Going forward, I think Rico Nasty is certainly capable as an artist but she will require much more focus and dedication if she ever wants to make an album borderline of anything memorable.
- Works well with features
- Vibey tracks are alright
- Rico does the opposite of what made her so beloved in the first place
- No Creativity
- Production cant stand on its own