Coffee bean

“Las Ruinas” is Rico Nasty’s coffee bean

Thanks to its striking adlibs like “WOAHH”, “HUH HUH YEAH” and “KENNYYYY”, it’s hard to mistake a Rico Nasty track for another artist’s music. With a multi-faceted rap-rock cadence and uniquely dripping style, Rico Nasty has carved his own path over the past seven years. But after releasing a back catalog of mixtapes and a studio album since bursting onto the scene, it was time for the Maryland-born rapper to reset herself with her latest project, The Ruinas. While previous work elated rockstar Rico Nasty, his latest mixtape offers a closer look at Maria Kelly, the woman behind the character.

To this day, the Rico Nasty sound has always harbored a “can’t fuck me” attitude. In the 2018 track “Smack AB*tch,” she details never letting anyone get in your way. “Don’t worry about ab*tch / Who’s never been in your shoes / Always move in silence / Never question your destiny.” Beyond that track, songs like “Hard,” “Party Goin Dumb,” “Watch Me,” “Ice Cream,” and “Rage” fueled the rapper’s confident, ambitious, and inscrutable attitude. Because these rage-filled elements have become synonymous with the sound and personality of Rico Nasty, she wanted to reorient herself while cultivating her latest project. She doesn’t leave that attitude behind, but rather reveals the full spectrum of her personality.

“I wanted to go back to learning new things and almost like looking at music from a smell perspective. [on this album]. After smelling a lot of different bullshit you must be smelling coffee beans [to clear your palate]. Creatively, this project is like coffee beans to me.

“I don’t see it as an evolution, I’m just having fun,” Nasty says. “I wanted to go back to learning new things and almost like looking at music from a smell perspective. After smelling a lot of different bullshit you must be smelling coffee beans [to clear your palate]. Creatively, this project is like coffee beans to me. Nasty always ran and she’ll always want to rage, but The Ruinas gave him another opportunity to up the ante. Usually, it’s fair game for artists and their producers to create tracks using beat packs while setting up a project. But for this mixtape, Rico Nasty built every beat from the ground up – transitioning from rapper to rapper/producer. By exercising his specific sonic interests, building beats alongside writing and rapping became a means of expanding his musical intellect. “My longest session in the studio [while making the mixtape] was 72 hours,” she says. “I’m not even in there worrying about rap anymore, I’m more focused on the overall artistry of music.”

Knowledge from manufacturing The Ruinas was not one-dimensional. In addition to learning production and music on a more technical level, Rico Nasty discovered the expansion of his own creativity. With this, she postulates what might be her most multi-dimensional work to date with elements of hip-hop, rap, electronic and alternative. By simply exploring and having fun with each track, the project almost served as a journal to where it is now musically.

Even with this experimentation, the mixtape still blends in elements from the rapper’s previous projects. “Focus On Me” harbors an emotional cadence reminiscent of “Brandon” and “Wanna Know” from Tales of Tacobella as well as the single “Time Flies”. Although the themes range from matters of love to his path to success, emotional revelations always find a perfect place in the rapper’s music.

“I think I was heavily inspired by myself and my early music because that’s why people fell in love with me. I thought that was me in five years, so what did- I want to talk? I decided that I should talk about love and the things that hurt me.

The fun and sweet songs on The Ruinas should not be confused with weakness, as they paint a fuller picture of the artist. In painting this picture, she must have tapped into the styles, flows, themes, and feelings that brought her to the current moment, while expanding her horizons.

“I got caught up in the character and characteristics of Rico Nasty. It took away my power and my creativity. This project redirected that.

“I got caught up in the character and characteristics of Rico Nasty. It took away my power and my creativity. This project redirected that. As his most personal project to date, The Ruinas offers a closer look at the woman behind Rico Nasty. We no longer just watch or listen to the superstar who is known to rage in head-to-toe design. We look at Maria Kelly – who is a mother, daughter and friend alongside her role as a rapper. Completing the mixtape is a love-laden letter to her son, Cameron, calmly reiterating that Kelly not only finds the strength to be a rockstar, but also to be human.'Las Ruinas' is Rico Nasty's coffee bean music

“I think Maria Kelly is the main person we’re hearing from on this project,” Nasty explained. “I just hope this project will attract new energy.”