Album: Rico Nasty – Nightmare Vacation

“This album for me was one of those experiences that helped shape me as a person,” Rico Nasty tells Apple Music of the creation of her debut album, Nightmare Vacation. “I feel like I haven’t gone through something like this since my son.” All the best qualities of the DMV-born and -bred rapper are perfected and blown out to make for some of her most punk yet polished work—a fully formed vision that took a bit of self-reflection and self-assurance to create. “I feel like when you’re working on music and makeup and merch and all these other different avenues, you get swamped; I think that’s the reason why I chose to name it Nightmare Vacation, too,” she says. “I was overwhelmed and I caught myself several times letting other people set goals for me and tell me where I should be going instead of just following the path that I was already on.” Songs like “Candy” and “No Debate” reflect a more assured Rico, confident of her abilities and her place as one of rap’s most unique talents. Her willingness to experiment across Nightmare Vacation, and how, each time, she emerges with a result that fits her well, is further proof of the magic of gift meeting grit. “I didn’t rush myself to complete a song or to catch a certain wave of music. I didn’t try to blend into whatever was out,” she shares. “Being your own person can be scary sometimes because you don’t know if people are going to love it or hate it, but I feel the way I dress prepared me for this as well. I don’t care about the naysayers.”

Candy
“I feel like a lot of times when I rap, it’s over crazy beats. Even though this is also a super sick beat, it’s usually either a rock beat or some type of super hard bass-swamping shit. A lot of times I’m just vibing, trying to be as humble as I can, but I feel I’ve been humble for too long. This is my shit, and I just wanted to own it.”

Don’t Like Me
“That collab flew out of the sky, but I feel like that’s how a lot of great songs happen, and I’m very happy to have [Don Toliver and Gucci Mane] on the song. They’re both very talented, legendary people. But yeah, these bitches don’t fucking like me. They really don’t. That’s what’s crazy. I don’t know if I scare them or what, but they’re not fucking with me.”

Check Me Out
“‘Check Me Out’ is for the bitches who get double takes everywhere we go, like you break necks everywhere you go, people asking you where you got that. It’s all about feeling yourself. For this song in particular, I don’t want people to think about Rico Nasty—when you sing along to it, it’s more so for you. You could have been in the bed all day, but you hear this song and you want to get up, you want to do something, you want to feel like a bad bitch, aggressively.”

IPHONE
“The mindset was the future, which oddly enough came true. It was a little bit of the future and the past, because I have Myspace references, but I talk about smoking so much gas, I forgot to put my mask on. I wrote that in 2019 and everybody in 2020 had to wear a mask, and I just find that super creepy, but we’re just going to rock with that.”

STFU
“I just want people to shut the fuck up, honestly. I feel like, due to the internet, people give their opinion where it’s really not needed, wanted, asked for, and it gets a little uncomfortable sometimes as an artist. Obviously, you can’t respond back to everybody individually and tell them ‘shut the fuck up,’ so I tried to make my haters feel special and I gave them their own personal song.”

Back & Forth
“Yo, every time I fucking think about this song, I just think about Aminé doing his verse and my verse not having anything to do with what he’s talking about. It was just very hilarious. I love Aminé. He helped me come out of my box a little bit, because I was never comfortable talking about shit like that. He helped pick the beat, and that night, we was with CashMoneyAp and stuff. He’s fucking fire. I love Aminé. That’s one of my top three favorite rappers of this generation.”

Girl Scouts
“The inspiration behind that was I was sitting back, going through my DMs, going through my mentions, and in my text photos, there’s always girls dressing up like me, recreating my makeup looks and just going full-out Rico Nasty. I will call them Sugar Soldiers and the Nasty Mob—I think of them like Girl Scouts now, because there was a point in time where I was doing things and when I would see people do them, I would get offended or I’d be super territorial. I remember somebody got the same exact tattoo as me, and I was just pissed off. I feel that’s another thing that comes with growing up and this being a really big turning point in my life because I learned how to take my power back. We are an army. We are Girl Scouts. We at your fucking door. You come for one, you gotta deal with all of us. I love them so much.”

Let It Out
“It kinda tells the story of just my whole career. I love this verse because I just feel like I was having the most fun with that. It be the craziest beats that I just get on it and I feel the most lit for some reason. On the melodic ones, I’d be a little bit scared, but on this one—I think I made this song super fast, and I didn’t really like it at first. And everybody on my team and my manager leaked it on Twitter to see if they would like it, and they were like, ‘Please drop this,’ and I was like, ‘Damn, they fuck with it.’ That was one of the fun ones.”

Loser
“I wouldn’t call myself the queen of surprises, but I never like to give people what they expect. Trippie [Redd]’s amazing. Hopefully we get to work again. He was really fast giving me my song back, and he even came to the studio when I did his song—he’s really awesome. I’m looking forward to that punk shit, that crazy rock-screaming shit. We both have haters. We both have people who, I guess, call us weird or say we dress weird, and then we have the other half who dress like us. I just thought about this like Mean Girls. ‘Everybody’s going to want to be like us, but they can’t sit with us’ type vibe. We’re going to call Trippie ‘Trippie Lohan.’ He’s got the red hair like Lindsay Lohan, so it’s really funny. It’s hella flowy, hella melodic but also heavy-hitting.”

No Debate
“I talk about giving energy and power back to my fans with this album, and I just want to give them shit that puts them in a good mood and just makes them feel real bouncy. This song, I will say, was definitely inspired by the Nasty era. When I made this song, I was listening to a lot of my Nasty mixtape, and I feel this is a flavor from that era that was missed on the album.”

Pussy Poppin
“People don’t really know, but I’m very shy about talking about stuff like that. Whenever I make a song about that type of shit prior to this, I’m like, ‘Get out of the studio. Please leave.’ I’m nervous as fuck, palms sweating, trying to rap about sex. And this night, bro, I don’t know what had got into me. I wanted to have some fun. Obviously we talk about how these n***as ain’t shit, but I feel some of the best songs are the ones where it’s like we’re celebrating how our n***a actually is fire. I feel we don’t have that many songs like that, and I just wanted to make that song for all the girls with boyfriends out there who don’t really talk about that shit but want to.”

OHFR?
“It was just one of those days where I remember it was hella gloomy and the song was made very fast. Dylan [Brady] was there, and the exhausting part with this song was the fucking beat. When we had tried to set it up, there was something wrong with the BPM. It was weird, like people were like, ‘I don’t know if you can even get on it because of the way that the beat is set up’ or whatever. But I still got on it. We still went crazy. ‘OHFR?’ is an anthem for people to put the middle fingers up, and it’s just in your face.”

T0Fo
“It’s like I’m talking to myself on that song. I feel like that’s the devil on your shoulder doing reckless-ass shit. I’m not trying to make people go out and fuck shit up, but when I wrote the song, it was definitely in a time where I was angry, and I wanted to get my power back so I just talked my shit. I was a little bit hesitant about really releasing the song because I don’t ever want nobody to do no wild-ass shit listening to me. But this one of the ones—it just made me feel like breaking shit, going out, whoever did me wrong, fucking they shit up. I don’t care. It’s the soundtrack to beating a n***a’s ass. We were smacking bitches before, but I feel like this song, in particular, is definitely about getting back at a guy.”

Own It
“I feel like with ‘Own It,’ I was trying to hone that vacation vibe but still Rico Nasty type of vacation—very glamorous, spooky, weird, still out there in its way. I feel ‘Own It’ is also about owning your shit, owning my island. And it’s also for bitches to be feeling the need to own it and that they’re that bitch, because we need one big room full of bad bitches. Shout-out Kreayshawn.”

Smack a Bitch (Remix)
“Well, I felt like all of the girls that I put on this song are very avid people that are great contenders for smacking bitches. Sukihana will smack a bitch in an instant, ppcocaine will smack a bitch in an instant, and I feel like Rubi Rose would smack a bitch or a n***a in an instant. I also put them on the song because I feel one way or another, they’ve inspired me to go hard just by the shit they go through daily. Suki’s a mom. ppcocaine is a rising TikTok star and shit, and it’s hectic on TikTok because they are hella rude on there. And then Rubi Rose is somebody who has been a beautiful girl that was well-known, and so many people try to underplay her as a rapper, and I fucking hate when people do that. I feel like the female rap scene right now is hella punk. We don’t give a fuck. We showing ass, showing titties. We talk about what we want. This has always been hip-hop, but in my head, we just look like a bunch of rock stars.”

Smack a Bitch (Bonus)
“I don’t know what it is about that song. I would like to think just because of the circumstance and how it came out, that’s why people gravitate to it. It probably makes people feel like fighting and all that goofy-ass shit. But I feel over time, it’s just become one of those songs. It’s a fun song. It’s fun to put on. It’s probably the fastest song I ever made, the most fun I had in the studio. I’m very thankful for everybody that was a part of it because I feel like it pushed me to do my own thing even more.”


Updated: December 4, 2020 — 7:37 am

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