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Rico Nasty's "Nightmare Vacation," 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Monday, December 7, 2020

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What can be said of Rico Nasty's debut album, "Nightmare Vacation," is it's about time.

There's been a long lead-up to the 16-song set, coming out Friday, Dec. 4. The Orlando, Fla. rapper (real name Maria-Cecilia Kelly) has been releasing mixtapes since 2014, when she was in 10th grade, along with a series of singles as well as songs in the soundtracks for "The Fate of the Furious" and HBO's "Insecure." She's also made guest appearances on songs by Doja Cat, Juicy J, ASAP Ferg, Yoshi Flower and others.

She comes into "Nightmare Vacation" with a head of steam, too, with attention-getting singles (and videos) such as "iPhone," "Own It" and "Don't Like Me," the latter featuring Gucci Mane and Don Toliver. The album, which also sports guest appearances by Trippie Redd, Amine and ppcocaine, is Nasty's most complete look to date, however, and she's ready for those she's teased to pack their bags and come along for the ride...

• Nasty, 23, noted during a Zoom conference call that she's been working on "Nightmare Vacation" for two years -- "probably the longest thing I've ever worked on in my life, besides my child (five-year-son Cameron). It was a journey. Obviously coronavirus tried to ruin everything, time and time again. I had a release date last year November, then a release date in March...but I overcame all of that and can't wait for it to be out, finally."

• She has nevertheless embraced the pandemic limitations rather than be frustrated by them. "This has taught me so much. I've overcome so many things already. Y'know, I shot the video for 'IPhone' in my basement and used Zoom to edit it. I was on the call with production while they watched me shoot it to make sure we got all the shots. You just do what you have to, y'know?"

• "Nightmare Vacation's" title also makes reference to the pandemic and Nasty's learning to navigate the new world order. "It's literally a nightmare that turned into a vacation. I was scared, freaking out. I didn't know how I was gonna make music without going out and partying -- 'What am I gonna make music about if there's no parties?!' Taking that away was, like, (messing) with my confidence. I was so afraid...and I overcame it. I found so much happiness being able to do (stuff) from the house."

• Nasty is confident that "Nightmare Vacation" shows growth from her mixtapes and other singles. "For once in my life I feel like a little sexy butterfly, like a woman, not like a teenage rapper. I feel more comfortable in my voice, in my skin...That's just a part of getting older. I feel like when I was in high school I was already rebellious and fun, but I had never driven a car, never gone to a club. When you actually experience certain things and can talk about them and share that (stuff)...I've been taking a lot of advantage of that."

• Nasty appeared in Rihanna's "Savage X Fenty Show: Volume Two" earlier this year via Amazon, and she says the Bahamian hitmaker is something of a career model. "I love her. I'm a huge fan of her music, but I can't sound like Rihanna so I don't even try to do that. Some things you just leave to the icons. But when I talk about business and just being a boss and still be fun...that's her. I’ve never heard anybody say anything bad about Rihanna. She's nice as..., smells great. She stays out (of) the way. What more can you ask for? She consistently drops...great products. That's somebody I look up to. She's like my big sister in my brain."

Web Site: www.riconastymusic.com

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