Photo Credit: Atlantic Records
Rico Nasty delves into her intimate side on her latest project, Las Ruinas. She speaks with us about her recording process, growth, and more.
Lurking beneath the hard exterior of Rico Nasty‘s previously released albums and mixtapes is an emotional core. On Las Ruinas, which was released a week ago, Rico leans into vulnerability to get a point across. Over a call at home, she said she’s hopeful her fans will realize that she’s a human.
“I wanted to use my voice as a chance to be a diary, thinking about this moment in time,” the rapper shared while packing for her upcoming tour with Kehlani.
Rico began recording her latest release in January in Los Angeles and ended up completing it in March. “Weird” is the word she uses to describe the moneyed city, and acknowledged that being there put her in a different headspace than she’s ever been in before since she usually records in Maryland or New York.
Fortunately, Rico did have her father to help her feel better as she recorded in a new place. The artist perked up when she talked about how he made it to one of her studio sessions, which was the first time he had ever been in the studio with her. She recalled feeling a moment of pleasure when she walked him through the studio she was using, while also noting how “crazy” and full circle it was for him to see her in a space where she thrives.
“He was very, very proud,” she said.
Las Ruinas is biting, and there are some moments on it that are raucous. For most of the first half of the mixtape, she meshes yelling and angst-filled vocals with beats that are club-ready. There are moments on the tape like “Intrusive” that are energetic and downright euphoric, with Rico employing the aggressive and dynamic delivery that she’s become known for. Elsewhere, she claims her stake as a spitfire rapper on “Black Punk,” a song that’s an invigorating listen. She elegantly shifts from track to track and creates an intersection between two personas: an angered lyricist and a love-ridden emotional artist. Love is a topic she explores on “Chicken Nugget,” a song that touches on her relationship with her son Cameron.
“I felt like I had to dig deep and get into it, and then feel what I wanted to say because it’s real easy to get jaded out here and just start talking about all the nice shit that you see or the nice shit that you want,” she said.
As for how deep she was willing to go on this project, she admits she’s grown tired of creating music bragging about money and clothes, even though she does it so well. Las Ruinas standout “Watch Your Man,” which features electronic DJ and producer Marshmello, is a testament to that. It’s a track that jumps back and forth between the driving drum and bass and pummeling trap 808s, with Rico effortlessly maintaining her flow whenever the beat switches. Even though the chorus is a little messy due to how it skirts haphazardly around Rico’s voice, but it works. As a whole, the song lands well because of Rico’s confident delivery of the lyrics.
Now 25, Rico feels she is open to experimenting artistically and pushing herself to crush musical barriers.
“It’s such a weird age, and I just wanted to be transparent so when I look back on it, I’m like, ‘Oh, wow. You came a long way,’” she said.
Alongside this growing-up stage, she said she’s reckoning with the constant pressure to accomplish specific things by a certain age, which is something she struggled with before dropping Las Ruinas.
Now, she’s embracing everything she’s experienced up until this point, realizing that it is an essential part of her story. Everything has been a stepping stone, Rico said, adding: “I can’t pray to skip steps.”
Before the call ends, Rico also touches on what’s coming for her aside from touring soon she’ll be sharing more music videos, shows and singles.
“I’m really just going to keep this shit going,” she said. “I just feel that I’m just going to keep being really consistent.”