News & Opinion | June 29, 2018 11:52 am

How Rico Nasty Became a 21st Century Rap Star

The 21-year-old used YouTube buzz to get a record deal.

rico nasty
Rico Nasty attends The Fader Fort 2018 - Day 3 on March 16, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Just two years ago, Rico Nasty was a teenager living in Maryland suburbs and generating some buzz on YouTube for her surly, rainbow-tinted rhymes. But now, the 21-year-old rapper, who signed a deal with Atlantic Records, is on her way to becoming one of the best voices in rap music. How did she do it?

According to The Washington Post, in order to become famous in this day-and-age, rising stars are expected to win fans all over the internet, which includes Instagram, Soundcloud, YouTube and then, of course, live performances. Rico makes sure that her image “remains as wild as her sound.” She says that’s “how you become an icon.” When she raps, it is in sneers and jeers, but her rhymes still contain melody, and she’s got plenty to say, whether it is about her dreams, her pet peeves or her detractors. And though sometimes she starts to veer towards abandon, she always stays disciplined. Her music videos are not quite as outrageous as her songs, writes The Post, but they are pretty close, and clearly keeps up the “wild” image Rico is going for.