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Rico Nasty Reacts To Cardi B's $88K Purse, Teyana Taylor's Retirement & Reveals New Album Direction

todayDecember 22, 2020 1

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Rico Nasty has always stood out, and she’s fully embraced her penchant for the extreme during her journey to becoming one of the most eclectic rappers today. The 23-year-old Maryland native cannot be boxed in. Her music is wide-ranging and versatile. Her fashion is rowdy and fun. Her energy is lively, and she has an aura where she’s seemingly always on. 

Basically, there is no off button for Rico Nasty. While she just delivered her debut studio album Nightmare Vacation, she revealed during our interview that she’s already working on her next project. What’s more, Rico has fully embraced her career as an artist, saying, “I’m a rapper now. I’m not gonna just stop recording.”

Contributing to some of hip-hop’s most exciting releases in the last three years, including her Anger Management collaborative tape with Kenny Beats and her breakout 2018 project Nasty, Rico Nasty is telling her story in a way that we haven’t seen in years. Her style and creative direction remind fans of Missy Elliott‘s stellar contributions to hip-hop, but her brash rhymes and raw energy are reminiscent of Eve, Kelis, and others. There is no telling where Rico is headed, and with such a high ceiling for her potential, it’s going to be an insane rollercoaster-like ride on the way to finding out.

For the tenth day of HNHH’s 12 Days of Christmas interview series, we spoke with Rico Nasty about everything that has happened this year, including the coronavirus pandemic, the protests, her debut album release, and much more. She divulges on her love-hate relationship with Amazon, her thoughts on Cardi B‘s $88K purse controversy, Teyana Taylor’s retirement, and a more hyper-pop approach to her next album.

If you missed it, yesterday we spoke with Royce Da 5’9″ for Day 9.

This interview has been slightly edited for clarity and length. Watch the interview on YouTube below.

Day Ten: A Conversation with Rico Nasty


HotNewHipHop: What’s up, Rico! You look gorgeous.

Rico Nasty: Thank you! You know what’s crazy? I had the wildest morning today, and I literally was just saying, I don’t know how I got dressed this nice because I lost my nipple ring today.

Whew. It’s not a good day…

It’s not a good day, like, I need L.A. to do something about these piercing shops opening at 12 o’clock. This is a problem. This is a– what’s that thing called? A symmetrical problem. I’m bout to have one f*cking t*t pierced… I’m gonna look soft as f*ck. I’m gonna look like a poser, like, ‘you didn’t really take the pain’. I took all the pain! This is not fair. This is ridiculous.

This is something that you’ve got to repair today.  

ASAP!

Rico, it’s so nice to talk to you. I think I got my answer but I just wanted to start off by asking, how are you? 

Oh my god, I’m feeling like, I don’t know. I’m feeling a little bit like sh*t and then a little bit like the sh*t. So it’s, like, even bland, I guess. 

Obviously, it’s a huge week for you. Last week was even bigger. How’s everything going with the album release right now?

Everything is going pretty amazing. Honestly, like, if you would have told me that I would have gone number two and Shawn Mendes be number one from an album that I didn’t tour from– like all these things that normally make an album– that it would do so good without all the sh*t that makes an album. I was very surprised, very, like, appreciative of my fans. I always go into depth about how much I love them. But really, like, this was their time to really shine. I mean, I see them making little stream parties. And everyone that I follow has my album cover as their profile picture. I love all the support, I see all the messages. I just want to tell you guys, I love you guys. I see everything. You guys are killing sh*t right now.


Steve Jennings/FilmMagic/Getty Images

It’s really beautiful to see, over the last three-plus years, how you’ve grown. This year has been a little crazy. Where are you at this stage in the pandemic right now?

I’m at the stage where I feel like, I don’t know, I’m a little concerned. But I definitely feel like it’s the mom in me that’s concerned. I mean, we’re talking about vaccines, we’re talking about all this sh*t. And although I have to think about myself, and I have to think about my future, I also have a kid. He’s starting school in the upcoming year. So like, certain vaccines, there are certain things he would need to go to school and I’m like, I don’t know, I don’t know about that. It’s definitely a lot of growing up being done and a lot of like, decision making because everyone else thinks that you could go out and it’s as if there’s no Coronavirus, and sometimes you really have to be the responsible one like, okay, no, we’re all having fun, but like, where’s your mask? Where’s your fucking mask? Where’s your mask? Where’s your mask? I guess it’s pretty hectic right now.

But one thing I will say is that I am extremely thankful to God and very blessed to be in the position that I am because I know that there are people whose sh*t is way worse than mine. I’m not going to sit over here and pity party, like, ‘Oh, I can’t go to the club.’ Nobody gives a f*ck about that sh*t. Like there are real problems going on right now. So yeah, I mean, the only thing I can complain about is being in the house. I’m bored. I’m bored. I’ve played dress-up too many times. It’s not fun anymore.

“I spent more money in the pandemic than I probably did when I was on the road. Because Instagram is the f*cking Illuminati. And if you look at something on your Safari browser, you get ads for it. So they’ve been catching me in a trick bag this whole time. I can honestly say I spent too much money during quarantine, especially on Amazon. Jeff Bezos cut me a check, b*tch. Because all your money is definitely my money if we’re being real, like, it’s just too much.”

You got to get more clothes.

Oh, no. Okay, bro. Like, honestly, I spent more money in the pandemic than I probably did when I was on the road. Because Instagram is the f*cking Illuminati. And if you look at something on your Safari browser, you get ads for it. So they’ve been catching me in a trick bag this whole time. I can honestly say I spent too much money during quarantine, especially on Amazon. Jeff Bezos cut me a check, b*tch. Because all your money is definitely my money if we’re being real, like, it’s just too much. F*ck Amazon. I love Amazon. I’m sorry, I love Amazon. But f*ck y’all! Y’all got too much stuff to buy. Why can I buy a frying pan and a wig at the same website? Make it make sense.

And they get shipped together too!

Like, make this sh*t make sense. That sounds crazy. You know, my top favorite pick of quarantine was those f*cking polygel nails. If you are a girl, I know you know what I’m talking about. You bought that sh*t. You paid like $60 for it. You were supposed to be able to do a full set and all this dumb ass sh*t they promoted. You got that sh*t in like three months, thinking ‘oh, by the time I get it, corona gonna be over’ and it wasn’t. So you still had time to do the sh*t. And it’s just horrible. I spent $60 and I have to still pay to get my nails done. I can’t do my nails with that kit. I know I’m not the only one that fell for it.

Amazon has been the go-to for a lot of people during the pandemic. You finally released your debut album Nightmare Vacation this month. What’s the significance of that title for you?

Honestly, this year has been that. Just like, you know, a period where we were all like, we get to stay home and do nothing. Hurray! Hurray! And then as time goes on, you realize too much of anything is horrible. Nobody wants to stay at home all the time. And you just start realizing all of the things that you kind of appreciated. And I feel like, with Nightmare Vacation, it was kind of like that. I was working, working, working, working. Too much of anything isn’t good. I started kind of losing myself in the work. And I decided to call it Nightmare Vacation because, although I kind of wandered off into all these different places and different styles of genres, music and sh*t, I still was able to come back home, find myself and just continue to be myself. Just because you are educated in music doesn’t mean that your music has to sound like you’re educated in music. Sometimes you can just do what you like. I named it Nightmare Vacation because I felt like people needed something to scream to. When you think Nightmare Vacation, I just feel like it’s a scream. It’s like, is it good? Is it bad? It’s two extremes. So, you know, I just really wanted to give the album a name as dramatic as the emotions that were showcased on it.

“The best part of the album finally being out is just the fact that I’m already working on the next one.”

It fits it well. What’s the best part about the album finally being out after having worked on it all year?

The best part of the album finally being out is just the fact that I’m already working on the next one.

How many songs have you finished for it?

Of the next album? Sh*t, probably like six.

Wow! So you’re already well along.

Yeah, I mean, because when you really think about it, I stopped recording for Nightmare Vacation as soon as I had to get it cleared or sent to Apple Music and all that sh*t. So once I did that it was just like, I mean, I’m a rapper now. I’m not gonna just stop recording. I kept recording and now I have all these songs and I’m like, ‘Okay, this is next level.’ From reading the reviews and sh*t, I’m like, I don’t wanna give my whole plan away but like, I didn’t want to put too much different sh*t on Nightmare Vacation because I already seen the reaction with “iPhone” and “Own It”. People were like, ‘How different is this about to be?’ and I started getting scared because I didn’t want to lose my core fan base. So now that they’re like, ‘Alright, this is Rico Rico like we got Rico Rico’, I see so many people like, ‘Alright, I wonder what the real next phase is?’ And I already have the next phase locked and loaded, and I’m ready to go and I’m just ready to keep going. F*ck that sh*t. No breaks, no days off. I’m really dedicated to– I don’t know, I feel like I’m in this sh*t now. When I was working on the album, it felt like I was lightyears away from my fans. But now I feel like we right here. We know what’s happening, that sh*t’s about to go crazy.


Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

That’s amazing to hear. Your interview with Zane Lowe recently came out. You said that in quarantine, you were having trouble balancing life and music. What was it specifically that you were having trouble with?

I probably have never spoken about this in an interview but my mom is very clingy. My mom is super clingy. I’ma just keep it a bean. So when I tell my mom that I’m home, she doesn’t understand that I still have to work. So like, it was really difficult finding that balance between like, okay, yes, I’m home and I love you guys and I want to be with you guys because, looking online, you see everybody else with their family and all that sh*t. But everybody else isn’t dropping an album right now. So I’m still working, like, I’m still doing press runs, doing all this sh*t. So it was just really hard balancing family time with work because, now more than ever, the two weren’t separated. You know, I didn’t have to go to New York for a week and then I come home and that’s my downtime. Like, no, I’m home already. Phoners back to back. And then in the middle of these phoners, my mom is calling me like, ‘So what you want to do today? Yes, so-and-so is coming down.’ I’m like, ‘Mom, I’m still working! This is not my time off. Like, I’m still working.’ So that sh*t was really rough. It was always really rough.

Even my friends like, when the protests and stuff were going on, they’re like, ‘yeah, I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna go protest.’ I’m like, I wish I could go protest. I do. I wish I could but like, I can’t protest in the DMV. If I would have come to L.A., I could have protested. But I can’t protest in the DMV because it wouldn’t have been about the protest. It would have been about rappers pulling up to the protest. And that’s not what the protest is for. This is not, like, content, my n***a. This is real-world sh*t. I’m just at home watching everybody’s stories just like, wow, at least I got friends that make a difference. But still, at the same time, I’m like, okay, we’re doing f*cking product calls and we’re talking about merch. You know, it’s just like, damn, I wish I could have had fun this summer, but it was great. This album was worth it and everything was worth it.

“My favorite type of music to record right now is definitely “iPhone”. I love that music because it’s not– there’s really no rules to it. When you go in on those types of hyper-pop beats, I don’t feel obligated to be harsh. A lot of other beats, I feel obligated to be harsh because that’s how I am but with this new hyper-pop sound, I get to kind of explore the more lovey-dovey ground, but it’s still fun and I’m really enjoying it a lot.”

Absolutely. The protests were a huge part of this year. What I love about you is your versatility as an artist. You can make a hyper-pop record like “iPhone”. And then you can make something hard as hell like “OHFR?”. I wanted to ask you, what’s your favorite type of music to record right now? 

My favorite type of music to record right now is definitely “iPhone”. I love that music because it’s not– there’s really no rules to it. When you go in on those types of hyper-pop beats, I don’t feel obligated to be harsh. A lot of other beats, I feel obligated to be harsh because that’s how I am but with this new hyper-pop sound, I get to kind of explore the more lovey-dovey ground, but it’s still fun and I’m really enjoying it a lot. There are a couple of other songs like “iPhone” that are super sick but more rapping, which I feel like is even harder. I don’t think people are gonna– they’re gonna be like, ‘what the f*ck?’ because it’s still rap but it’s also still like a hook and sh*t. Yeah, there’s gonna be fire. You’re gonna like this one.

You worked with Don Toliver, Aminé, Trippie Redd, the legendary Gucci Mane, and a few others on the album. How do you decide who you want to collaborate with when you’re working on something?

I tried to pick the people who are more themselves than anyone else. You know what I’m saying? Like, when you look at Trippie, he’s had a couple of acting roles and even in his acting roles, he’s still Trippie and I love that. He has a soft side and he has a hard side. I love that. Same with Aminé. He has a really good way of blending into whatever vibe fits his voice. And that’s something that I look up to. I look for people who are genuinely themselves. Like, when you turn their music off, they’re still that person. And I also look for people who like, unapologetically don’t give a f*ck. Talking about females, this morning was the first time I’ve ever been without a wig in front of a female rapper. And it was ppcocaine. No makeup, we just looked like two thumbs. I feel like that’s empowering and I’ve always wanted a relationship like that. Like, we’re all just b*tches with makeup and wigs, we all look the same without it. Nobody’s better than nobody. We all just got rich like, get rich or die tryin’ b*tch. That’s me. I love Sukihana and I feel Sukihana definitely is like– she’s kind of like everybody’s fairy godmother. She’s like always in the back of everybody’s head. I love her. People always tell me, ‘you’re so crazy’. But Suki been doing shit that I’m scared to do. She makes you look amazing. And she makes it look f*cking crazy. And I love her for that. Like, it’s inspiring. And even Rubi Rose. Like, slim b*tches stand up. It’s very important that we get some more representation out here. You know, I’m standing for my skinny b*tches. I put her on the album too, because I felt like she definitely does a great job of embodying that ‘I’m still sexy, y’all n***as still want me, but I don’t have big ass melons’. She got a fat ass though. I love her message, I love like, everything. Her voice is so deep and that contrast is sexual-like– the sexiness of her.

And then let’s talk about Gucci Mane. Gucci Mane is definitely a f*cking legend. And I feel like nobody has a real debut if they don’t get a legend on there. So big shout out to Guwop for being a part of this. And for even saying my name, let’s say that because Gucci probably dishes out features all the time. But when he said “Guwop and Rico Nasty/Pulled up and the hoes got nasty”. That was a thing. I was done. I was happy. I was satisfied with that moment. That was a real moment. Like he said my name!

You spoke about some of the super talented women in rap right now. Women have absolutely taken over the rap game in 2020. I spoke to Flo Milli earlier this year and she had some amazing things to say about you. She says she became a fan when you only had 4000 followers. She’s really inspired by you and how you’re unapologetically yourself in everything that you do.

Flo Milli was supposed to be on the “Smack A B*tch” remix. But Flo Milli is a busy woman. And she just dropped her project which was amazing as well. For that to be her first project… I’m so proud of that girl. I love Flo Milli so much and I feel like all of us do. All of the female rappers are definitely rooting for her. She came in the game– been herself, still herself. I love watching her style evolve. The other day she had on this colorful dress and these boots and I’m like, my b*tch is wearing high fashion! Alexa, play Roddy Ricch “High Fashion”. I’m proud of her! I feel like I’m watching my little sister go to the prom, like this b*tch been pulling out the looks. She be letting these b*tches have it and I’m here for Flo. So let’s give each other flowers.

“Flo Milli was supposed to be on the “Smack A B*tch” remix. But Flo Milli is a busy woman. And she just dropped her project which was amazing as well. For that to be her first project… I’m so proud of that girl. I love Flo Milli so much and I feel like all of us do. All of the female rappers are definitely rooting for her. She came in the game– been herself, still herself. I love watching her style evolve.”

I love that. Before the album released, how was 2020 treating you? Because it was– it’s been rough.

It was a mess. It was a lot of dates getting switched around. It was a lot of broken promises. A lot of stuff on my end that nobody else was like, yeah, I’m gonna do this. And then I go back to my team like, yeah, we can do that, right? And they’re like, ‘Rico, what the fuck?’ And I’m like, well, we can do it, we can make that happen. It was just a lot of ‘he said, she said’. A whole bunch of sh*t. That’s album time. As far as real-world sh*t, I’ve been treated fairly. I mean, I’ve really like– I’ve enjoyed being home with my son more than anything. I’m missing him so much right now. But just being around him and watching him grow up. He’s a real person. Now he really wakes up in the morning. He has his routine. Don’t get in the middle of his routine, cause he don’t like that. He’s 3 and he doesn’t really have the concept of time yet. Like, ‘oh, mom’s gone’. He got an iPad for his birthday and he knows how to FaceTime people. So yesterday, he called me like five times. He’s just calling me like, ‘what are you doing? What are you doing?’ And I’m just like– I’m looking forward to just him getting out there and us being best friends because that’s what it is. Yeah, that’s my bestie. That’s my dog. I swear we do everything together.

That’s so cute. And it’s adorable that he calls you on FaceTime all the time.

No, he calls me because my mom– my mom be working so she’d be, like, denying him. And she said that he went and knocked on her door, like, ‘why are you rejecting my calls?’ He’s so funny. I feel like speaking it into existence, you know, this little boy is going to have a show. I feel like my son can have a show. He’s so funny. Genuinely funny, bro. Like, this man don’t have no business. He might be a comedian. He’s funny enough to be a comedian. He’s really too damn funny, bro, like I’m nowhere near that funny. I wonder where he got it from.

We got to manifest that into existence. 

Yes, I got a little baby Kevin Hart or something. He is really funny.

So the main topic of the year has been COVID-19. What was your reaction when the severity hit in March?

My reaction was definitely ego-fueled, to be honest. I’m gonna be honest. I was like, ‘Well, what about me? The fuck?’ I know everybody’s worrying about like, ‘Oh, yeah, what about my job, what about this? What about that?’ My sh*t was like, we was about to drop the album in the summertime. So when you hear about Coronavirus, no traveling… The only thing I’m hearing is my sh*t getting f*cked up. I’ll be honest, the first couple of months, initially, I didn’t even know how bad it was. I didn’t know how bad everything was until sh*t really started shutting down and it was like, okay, we’re really not shooting videos. We’re really not doing this. Then we start talking about backup plans. That’s when it got rough.

But I think I really realized that the world was f*cked when I went to the grocery store. Yeah, that’s when I knew. That was like, a b*tch is in the apocalypse, okay? I’m going to the grocery store and I’m trying to get all the essentials: baby wipes, chicken nuggets, toilet paper, regular sh*t like oodles of noodles. You know, the sh*t that’s gonna make you survive, right? I still eat noodles. I still eat my eggs and my, you know, Hot Cheetos. It don’t matter. So I’m going to the grocery store, like b*tch, I’m gonna get all the good snacks, and it wasn’t no good snacks. It wasn’t nothing. It was nothing there. And I was really like– I started getting scared because like, obviously, I’m going in there trying to get good snacks, but what about my son? I started thinking about all the people who have babies, little babies who still wear diapers, because when I went to go get the baby wipes, there were no diapers. There was no Similac. My kid is old enough to not need those things. But damn, I know I’m not the only person that’s a mom. So that’s when I really started being like, okay, we’re gonna buy sh*t and we’re gonna have to ration and I really started telling my son like, ‘you need to wash your hands. You need to wash your hands, you need to wash your hands’. We was just really big on washing hands and it was heartbreaking. He always goes everywhere with me, like Target. Our Target runs would make any other child jealous. Okay, we run it up. That’s his favorite thing to do. We get excited to go to Target and I had to tell him, ‘Baby you can’t come. You can FaceTime me and tell me if you want something but you cannot come to the stores with us.’ That sh*t is hard. It was heartbreaking, like so sad. I really stepped back and decided okay, this isn’t about the industry. This isn’t about the album. This is literally about people surviving. People are– they’re not gonna starve to death, but they’re gonna kill each other. It was getting bad like that. People was fighting over toilet paper. People was fighting over sh*t. People were stabbing people over stuff, and it’s just like, you just start realizing like, damn this world, when it do– it’s probably not gonna crumble now, but when it does, I pray that me and my baby is long gone off this planet because people out here is evil. Scary.

It wakes you up when stuff like this happens because you really don’t see it until a pandemic breaks out, or stuff like this. 

It’s ugly. Like, yeah, you get online and it’s so beautiful. Celebrities and vacations, all these lifestyles and bags and, you know, retail therapy. You really get buckled down and it’s like, yo, it’s a whole world of people that don’t have none of this sh*t and they’re waiting to take that sh*t from whoever they can. You can’t forget about those groups of people because they really exist. People will sit back and they– what was that f*cking movie? What is that movie with the f*cking people living in a man’s basement? Parasite! Yo, Parasite— I feel like if you have money during this pandemic– that movie and you didn’t see it like– yo, it’s really people that’s like looking at you like a lick, and it might not be a lick like, ‘oh yeah, we’re gonna move into your basement.’ But like, this man plugged his whole family, you got your dad as a driver, your f*cking sister as the tutor, and all rich people care about is, ‘well my kid, they need like one-on-one attention and you need to drive the car safely’. And you worried about that stupid ass sh*t. Little do you know, you got a motherf*cking parasite so yeah, don’t let all the glitter and glam get to your f*cking head. The world is still just as ugly as it was when we was broke.

That’s an incredible film, by the way. I’m really glad you brought that up.

I love that movie. Whenever I see the Cardi B tweet where she was like, “Should I buy this $80,000 bag?” and underneath it is the f*cking picture of the husband [from Parasite] just like– that’s really me having money. That’s what he feeling like when you see these rich people spending money on sh*t, like, you just be sitting there like, ‘What would I do to have that much money to spend on a bag?’ I would start– let me not say what I would do because you get rich you don’t do none of that sh*t so f*ck it. To each his own, do whatever you wanna do. Cardi, send me pictures of the bag when you get it because I want to know what an $88,000 bag looks like sweetheart, I need to know before I die.

She posted pictures of it! I think it’s a Birkin. 

I’m trying to see that. Cardi’s bag game is– it’s between Cardi and f*cking– obviously Nicki Minaj‘s bag game goes crazy but it’s between Cardi and Teyana Taylor. I’m sorry. As far as like, bags, I’m saying Teyana Taylor cause her– she just be having really cute sh*t that you really wouldn’t like, you know– not like the big Birkins and sh*t like that, but like high-class New York sh*t. You want to know where she got them from. I love the way she dresses.

People got to put some respect on Teyana’s name for real.

I just saw her talk about retiring and like, I felt so bad because I’m like, I stan Teyana Taylor. I play Teyana Taylor on the regular and her last project was what got me through touring low-key. It just helped me stay motivated, moving on time, and not just moving excited but still feeling like a bad b*tch. “WTP” is like, if I’m ever in a rush, I put that on and I get the job done. Let me give my flowers to Teyana. If you talk to any of these young, upcoming rap girls, me included, we’re all inspired by you. And we love you. We appreciate you and b*tch, man, you been the baddest that I ever seen. We really grew up on you, man. So if you don’t want to make music anymore, I’m gonna still stream whatever’s out. But when a new project comes out, because I feel like she’s a creative person, she can’t just not record. Like, even with her clothes and her businesses, I feel like we’ll hear from her soon. I really hope we do. Don’t let these b*tches get you down. Teyana, you’re that b*tch. 

She’s so dope. Shout-out to Teyana Taylor one time. Watching you grow as an artist for the last three years has been one of the most special things to me. We set something up at Rolling Loud two years ago and it fell through and every month, I’ve been telling my editor-in-chief, we gotta get that Rico interview. I gotta get the Rico interview. I wanted to ask you, what’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned being a professional artist for the last, you know, however many years?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is you work faster, and you work better when you don’t hold grudges. You kind of have to step away from that and just realize like, you are your own person. And although you might not like somebody, there’s a lot of people that you’re not gonna like, so you can’t– I don’t know, early on, I really felt like it was just one of those things where I was not wanting to be liked, but I cared about what people thought of me. It would just make me feel super weird when sh*t was over. I got to the point where I stopped caring. And I just started being myself more. And then when I did that, sh*t got easier, talking to people got easier, making friends got easier. Just little things, it was definitely not like a drastic change. But when you go in somewhere afraid to give your opinion on something because you’re afraid that somebody won’t like your opinion– the industry is small. So you can say, ‘Oh, I didn’t like that outfit’. And then that person could have just worked with someone else you know. And then, you know, you kind of walk on eggshells. Once you realize like, there’s no need to do that, nobody likes everybody’s outfit. Nobody likes everything that everybody does. And it just is what it is like, people like certain sh*t, some people don’t. You kind of find your own place. You find where you belong, not where you think you belong. You just find your real space where you feel most comfortable, you can create it. And I’m very thankful that I found that.

At what point would you say you found that? It feels like you’ve always unapologetically been yourself.

“Rage” had come out and it was a little bit after that. I remember, even when I recorded that song, I was scared to put it out because I felt like sh*t would change. I felt like my fan base would change drastically. I felt like everything would change and it did. Like I was totally right. My fans went from majority bubblegum, transitioning and just hearing “Smack A Bitch” to like– I just found so many ragers through that song. Many people were just like, ‘oh my god’, and it kind of put pressure on me. It felt like the darker fans needed me more. If you get what I’m saying. My bubblegum trap fans, they didn’t really need me as much. There were more people making what I was making. And they didn’t need the message. Like I wasn’t rapping about getting– like overcoming things. And I felt like I lost that with Sugar Trap. So when I was able to make “Rage”, that’s when I started meeting people that were like, ‘I don’t like this, I don’t f*cking like this. Why is she trying to make music like this and why is she not being herself?’ And it kind of like– once I ignored it, I really realized what was making me make this music and it was like, being frustrated from being outcasted and trying to fit in, you know, doing everything you think is going to make you fit in and you still don’t fit. Why? Because you’re different. So you have to own that sh*t. And I started owning it. I started not being afraid that I was the “Rage” scream-girl. That’s what it was like, that’s the girl that be screaming. It went from ‘Oh my god, why is that my name’ to like, ‘Yes, I’m the b*tch that be screaming.’ And there’s more freedom. And there’s more confidence and just owning it, that’s what it is. Instead of doing sh*t like worrying whether they’re gonna stand by me when I leave, you know what they’re gonna say about you. You know it and if you don’t know it, just stop thinking about it because it doesn’t f*cking matter. All that matters is how you feel about you. And you’re just happier. Like, you just move different. You don’t hold grudges. You don’t put expectations on people to be your friend. You’re just you.


Dave Simpson/Getty Images

I love that. Let’s touch on your new collection with Il Makiage. It’s your first makeup collection. How did that come together?

Well, Il Makiage had sent me this crazy big PR package and it was so much makeup. At first, I was like, okay, who is Il Makiage? I know the business like, people only send me packages like that when they want to work. So I’m like, okay, let me not just take cute videos and stuff and promote them but let me actually use their stuff. And I fell in love instantly as soon as I started using their concealers and foundations. That was the first thing that sold me, obviously, because I feel like you can’t bang makeup and not have a good concealer and foundation. That’s the foundation. Literally, if your foundation’s trash, you can’t build off that. Their foundation is f*cking amazing. And they have this great way of testing it like, you could legit get matched for your shade online. Mine was right. And I tried it in the winter and the summertime– both times my shade has matched my skin exactly and they do it online. So you just get the sh*t shipped to you.

I fell in love with that, I love technology-forward things. You know, I travel a lot. So being able to get foundation and not have to send your assistant to the store to match your shade or, you know, like you could just get it shipped to you. We really wanted to collab on eyeshadows. I was freaking out. the whole process of it was like a year and a half. And then because Corona had– sh*t kind of f*cked everything up. But after I got my PR package, I had a meeting with them and they had a bunch of different eyeshadows. They had laid out a couple of palettes that they thought that I would want to go with. They had different packaging ideas on a projector screen. And I kind of picked one of everything. Like I picked from everything that they gave me and I made it my own. I think that’s probably my favorite part about working with them, as well as like, most times when you do collabs, with some companies, you just slap your name on [the product]. But this was really like, line for line, row for row, everything, I came up with the design I wanted, and they never was like, ‘okay, but you’re doing too much’. They just kept pushing me to go crazy. Go crazy, go crazier. And that’s really important when I’m putting my name on something. It needs to be just as crazy as the musical experience. So I’m very happy that they allowed me to do that. And if you haven’t got your Il Makiage yet, baby you’re lacking. That’s my favorite sh*t right now. I’m using it for all of my looks. If you go on my Instagram right now and you see a look you like, it’s Il Makiage. I’ve been wearing it. I made it into my own.

What’s the current plan for 2021?

We’ve learned what it takes to make a project during a pandemic. We find loopholes, and we work through that. If we have to shoot music videos with the extras all in one scene and me in another, that’s what the f*ck we have to do. But we will get this sh*t done because that’s what entertainment is. Entertainment is making the impossible possible, so if you can’t do that, then I think you picked the wrong field so I’m looking forward to sharing more music with you guys. And more videos. We still have music videos dropping from Nightmare Vacation so let me not get too carried away with this next project. Nightmare Vacation out now. 

You got any closing words for the Nasty Mob before we close up?

For the Nasty Mob, I just want you guys to continue to be the powerful and amazing young women and men that you are. You guys are creative. You guys are awesome. Don’t doubt yourself and if anybody is watching this and you want to be a musician, you can do it and when you get famous, make sure you tell everybody that I said you could do it. You could do it. If I could do it, you can do it. Anybody can do this as long as they don’t let the naysayers get to them. You got to have some tough skin. I don’t give a f*ck what a hater got to say about it. We are number two and that is major for a person who doesn’t get radio play and curses in every single hook. We’re breaking records, like, we’re literally f*cking breaking records. I curse so much. I curse so much and I will never change and I’m not gonna release clean versions because people need to hear this sh*t. They need to hear this! Don’t ever let nobody tell you your music’s not clean enough. Thank god for the f*cking DSPs and all this online streaming, you don’t need the radio. You need the radio, you do, but you don’t need the radio to be heard, to be seen, to build a fan base. So do what the f*ck makes you happy. Coronavirus is trying to make all of us miserable. If f*cking spit boogers make you happy, you better blow some spit boogers. I can’t deal with the miserableness, we need to get some energy like, come on guys!

Rico, I love you so f*cking much. Thank you so much for taking the time. I love your energy, I’d love to talk with you again in the next year and I really hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

I hope you do too, thank you!



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