By Tarein Phillips, Contributor
[Sugar Trap; 2019]
Key tracks: “Cold”, “Hatin”, “Sell Out”
All ragers were ordered to come together and shake shit up in the mosh pit following the release of Rico Nasty and Kenny Beats’ new album, Anger Management. Although Rico’s signature “KENNYYYYY” tagline has become career-defining for both artists, their latest work shows just how much Rico Nasty is willing to rock out.
Read more: Album Review: Vince Staples – FM!
Rico’s usual abrasiveness punches listeners in the gut just on the first track, “Cold”. Nasty has garnered quite the reputation for her willingness to bring back rap-rock by screaming and shouting angrily over songs, and this introductory song shows just that. On “Cold,” there is a gradual build before Rico unleashes her angry vocals, and like The Pussycat Dolls once said, “be careful what you wish for cuz you just might get it.” In this case, you just might get Rico Nasty screaming in your ear when the chorus comes around and says “None of these bitches cold as me, me, me.”
Although Kenny has become a star in his own right by producing music for acts such as Vince Staples, ScHoolboy Q and 03 Greedo, something special clicks whenever he and Rico join forces. The power of the duo shined through like no other on “Hatin”, as it sampled JAY Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”. Hip-hop enthusiasts all over the world for sure lost it when hearing the sample because Hov actually let someone sample his music, but even better than that, Kenny and Rico make sure the fire is attached to it. Rico displays her witty wordplay on this song, saying “You can’t get the best of me / These white people invest in me / You know I got the recipe / Worst nightmare and your biggest fucking enemy.”
Rico and Kenny never stop impressing on Anger Management. Not only because the record is well-constructed, but also because there’s a story behind it. In a tweet that Kenny Beats posted, he said, “Listen to Anger Management from start to finish! It’s like a temper tantrum: starts off panicked, thinks it out, finishes calm.”
This description of Anger Management is perfect and is reflected in “Sell Out”. By the time this song comes around, Rico has mellowed out and reflects on how far she’s come as an artist. Rico realizes she’s getting more popular and her audience is getting bigger. Though she plans on selling out her shows, she doesn’t plan on selling out to the music industry or forgetting her values, morals and where she came from.
Sure, Rico embraces being the rap-punk of hip-hop. She likes yelling in the booth, screaming at the studio and expressing the emotions she has suppressed because this is the style that has made her popular. Anger Management shows that she’s more than her emotions; she’s a rapper who takes her craft seriously and demands attention. It’s one thing for someone to say there’s nobody else like them, but with the work Rico Nasty invests in every project, she’s doing whatever it takes to prove that she is the one and only.