Nightmare Vacation is a focused (re-)introduction for the Rico familiar and newcomers alike.
Rico Nasty has made quite a name for herself, utilizing an abrasive fusion of electronic-inflected hip-hop beats and a metal-adjacent vocal. Her first official album, Nightmare Vacation, takes the natural next step, then — upgrading Mixtape Rico to a fully realized version of that style that holds together, consistently, across a full length. Rico packs her album with great features, too: Dylan Brady, Gucci Mane, and Aminé each add a unique flair. Brady’s production on “IPHONE,” especially, stands out, and adds to the 100 Gecs’ mastermind’s already impressive, rapidly expanding catalog. Every song on Nightmare Vacation makes an impact in, usually, a very short period of time; album opener “Candy,” for instance, is a concise flex with Rico’s trademark rapid bars, full of confidence and itching to go: “Foot on the gas I stomp on the pedal / I need the best I ain’t trying to settle / I got half a billion but it still ain’t enough.” Some Kenny Beats-produced singles that didn’t make it onto those early mixtapes — like “Smack a Bitch,” about a beef with rival rapper Asian Doll — also show up on the tracklist, perhaps to subtly remind us that this isn’t some new artist making her mark. Rico has been a force in the indie rap scene for years, and this (re-)introduction works just as well as a flip through past exploits, if you’re already familiar, as it does as a salvo for the first-timers.
Published as part of Album Roundup: Oct. – Dec. 2020 | Part 5.