Rap Queen Rico Nasty Hopes Jeffrey P. Bezos Is Capable Of Tears

Rico Nasty makes music that makes people feel at home. Its brash juxtaposition of femininity and rage – or power – is the kind of art audiences identify with in the trouble’s of today. And it is so because the ability to draw from the many extreme poles of our personality was denied or suppressed for far too long.

Rico’s worked with Kali Uchis, Doja Cat, Megan thee Stallion, Kenny Beats, Earthgang, Denzel Curry, and Mahalia. It’s easy to associate Rico with the crowd she comes from: the broadest, the most diverse, and the most powerful generation of female musicians ever. That’s not to mention the most promising generation of young musicians ever.

Technology made music more accessible than at any other point in human history. Technology made music making more accessible than at any other point in human history. The meritocracy of the situation is complicated, but the ability to discover new records is undeniable. Amazon is one of the major players in music. It is one of the highways for accessibility. And Rico and an interviewer were set to briefly contemplate Amazon amongst other issues of family, belonging, and cyber harassment on a haunting Dallas night.

Rico was on tour with Kehlani. It was late in the tour. There were three tiers of amphitheater general standing room in Dallas fit for fourteen by twenty, three and forty, and ten by ten rows of square dancers from bottom to top respectively.

“I feel like this rap sh** is very supernatural. Sometimes I be feeling like – I don’t know – like you can f*****g pinch me and I’m going to go back to being broke,” said Rico rolling a joint. She was talking to the devil. The devil can’t visit without false pretenses, so she came as a journalist for a popular music magazine, a music magazine with stones.

“Dallas is a city of ghosts,” said the devil in her three-piece suit. She was a big fan of Rico’s music. Rico recognized to whom she was speaking. The devil had come as an equal, maybe a hopeful friend. Contrary to a literal interpretation of many country blues songs, the devil can’t make music. She can’t play the fiddle. Music is the exclusive language of good and God. The devil gets accused of making music, though, all the time.

“Rock stars are a little bit more exhibitionist. They do weird sh** for attention,” said Rico. They were referencing Rico’s mid-show dedication to “the weirdos, the black sheep, the oddballs, and the rockstars.”

“Sometimes I do weird sh** for attention,” said the devil. “I don’t know.”

“We’re all entertainers. We love attention. I do weird sh** for attention, you know, occasionally. But I do think that the black sheep are more of – I mean, me being bisexual and being part of the LGBTQ community, I look at a lot of gay people who are black sheep counted out of their family, looked down on from their family. Their family kind of just disowns them.”

“So, when I think about them, I feel like they’re the strongest ones. When you have everybody that you love sh** on you for being you, but you’re still out here going to concerts, having a f*****g blast, f*** them. You’re strength,” said Rico. She lit her joint with a bubblegum and blueberry lighter, and the devil took a hit from her crimson pipe. If you asked the devil what was in it, she would have said Xanax beneath a bed of finely ground cannabis, but the devil usually lies.

“The cis men, cis woman, like we’re cool. You know. I follow them,” said Rico. “But I feel like the gays are the ones that bring the looks. They bring the trends. They really are the ones who make it a cool thing to like me.”

“I wanted to ask you about your experience on tour with Playboi Carti,” said the devil. “And I wanted to ask you about how different drugs affect you creatively.” Rico had a heavily publicized hard time on her previous tour. Much of the interview was in the context of that difficulty’s shadow. The very reason the devil came to visit Rico in Dallas was in awe of the strength she displayed on Carti’s tour.

“It shouldn’t be so easy to make me leave,” said Rico. “Just cause I’m a girl don’t mean I’m going to act like a girl. I used to perform off psychedelics, a lot. I used to perform off shrooms. I used to perform off acid a lot. It’s lit.”

“Did it help you make songs?”

“Creatively, I wouldn’t really do it cause on drugs and on your phone, you can’t really write raps. If you can freestyle, then yeah. That’s a fun thing to do,” said Rico. “I’ve been sober from any other drugs for like two years now.”

“Does your kid like school?” asked the devil.

“He loves school, and he is honestly very, very f*****g smart, smarter than I was in school. It is so weird cause he brings home homework and I’m like, I used to do this,” said Rico. “We did Rolling Loud Portugal, and he’s f*****g backstage telling the guy who runs Rolling Loud, we need more fire. He’s smart.”

“He is smart. Would you be happy if he got into music?” asked the devil.

“If he wants to make music, then he’s going to be the best of his time, the uncontested front of the pack,” said Rico.

The devil pulled a notebook from her back pocket and jotted a note.

“How was Austin?” the devil asked and stopped writing.

“I went to sixth street. I know everyone says don’t go to sixth street. I was at a bar. People were drunk. They started fighting. Oh, it was bad. It was funny, but it was bad. Maybe the fighting was kind of bro-ey,” said Rico. “I don’t know. I was on shrooms. So, I think the fight was way worse than it really was. But yeah, it was pretty intense.”

The devil took more notes. She asked, “is this what you thought I’d look like?”

“I was taught that the devil’s not ugly. The devil is the most desirable thing you can ever imagine cause that’s how they trick people, how you trick people,” said Rico.

“You were taught?” asked the devil.

“In church,” said Rico. “They were like, be weary of all that glitters is not gold. They taught me the devil comes dressed. Next, you’re going to ask me, what does God look like?

“What does God look like?” said the devil.

“I don’t think God looks like anything,” said Rico. She paused. “I can’t really put a finger on it. He made all of us. I hope he looks cool, though. I hope he’s not like a f*****g squid or something. Oh God, it’s not a squid; is it? It’s a squid.”

The devil was silent.

“You know the theory about octopuses. They’re aliens,” said Rico.

“I wasn’t there when they were made,” said the devil, maybe in jest. “They can come from anywhere for all I know.”

“I really think that they’re aliens,” said Rico. “You’re the devil. Have you talked to anybody who’s explored the ocean or discovered any wild a** sh**?”

“I’ve not zero period,” said the devil. “Zero people like that.”

“I’m into the science part of everything,” said Rico. “I think that sh** is kind of cool.”

“I feel like if your kid was to be a scientist, that’d be a pretty dope route,” said the devil. “Just off the wall, what if he was an Astronaut?”

“I wouldn’t want him to be an astronaut,” said Rico. “He can be anything but that.”

“You wouldn’t feel safe?” asked the devil.

“You’re not going into space,” said Rico. “You can go anywhere on this planet as an adult, but you’re not going into space.”

“He looks you in the eye. He’s like, it’s my passion. I want to go to space,” said the devil.

“I say, you’re no Neil Armstrong,” said Rico. “Who just went to space? Was it Jeff Bezos? That’s wicked.”

“You think so? In what way?” said the devil. “I mean – like, I don’t like him personally.”

“Think about being a human being going into outer space,” said Rico. “Genuinely think about his rocket, his rocket! I understand it’s like, all right, we fly planes. That’s cool. Think about your human body leaving the only atmosphere that you’ve ever known going into outer space and looking at the f*****g planet that birthed you. You know how small. That would send me into the biggest depression.”

“You don’t think you’d feel good?” asked the devil.

“Well, what should I feel good about? Polluting a f*****g ozone layer to get up here to make this f*****g realization that we’re alone? We’re just on a rock,” said Rico.

“Yeah,” said the devil.

“That’s terrifying. Yo, I don’t want to talk about that,” said Rico.

“But it could also be beautiful in terms of, you know, like, oh, look at that beautiful little blue marble.You know? We mess it up. It’s just one blue marble. There’s a bunch of beautiful stars. You know. You get to see a bunch of other beautiful planets,” said the devil.

“No, it really sets the tone of like, bro, what the f*** is going on? Him being such a billionaire doesn’t stop him from being a regular person, a person who worked just like me,” said Rico. “You go to work, and you went to college or whatever the f*** he did and created this company. Just imagine him at our age struggling. He doesn’t know what to do with his life. Does this and goes to f*****g outter space, bro. Be for real. I know he got up there and cried. Like I know he was like, this is just intense.”

“Yeah. We’re so small,” said the devil. “You think he – I don’t know. I don’t know if he’s capable of tears.”

“I think everyone is capable of tears. People do a good job of making people seem cold,” said Rico.

“You’re right,” said the devil. “I don’t like how his workers seem to be treated. You know?”

“I feel like my DJ would say the same thing about me,” said Rico.

“Would he?” asked the devil.

“I feel like, yeah,” said Rico. “I feel like nobody likes working for anybody really. They’ll always have a reason to complain. Working is tough.”

Rico asked, “what’s wrong with these workers? What they be saying about him? What’s the tea?”

“I’ve heard they’re reprimanded liberally. I heard they find difficulties put on them when trying to organize, and sometimes they have to wee in bottles. I saw someone on Fox News say they don’t have enough time to take bathroom breaks on the job,” said the devil.

“I’ll have to start making y’all work like that,” said Rico to her tour managers and assistants who came and left in different hurries.

“No, seriously?” asked Rico, and one of her employees walked through the room. “He didn’t get to go to the bathroom before the show today,” said Rico pointing to her DJ. “Damn. What the f***? We got to get somebody in human resources.”

“I won’t let this get out,” said the devil taking more notes.

“That’s f****d up though that he’s doing that, but you know what? You’re right. He probably is an a******, but you know we will never know,” said Rico.

“You might know. You’re famous,” said the devil. “You make great music.”

“Maybe I’ll meet him one day and I promise you, I’ll ask him,” said Rico. “I’ll be like, are you an a******?

“You have a real chance to be his friend,” said the devil. “He works out. His Amazon Music might be Rico Nasty, Rico Nasty, Rico Nasty. And if it isn’t, I could whisper in his ear.”

“Don’t say that to me,” said Rico. “I’m going to need a check cut ASAP. You should see how much money I spent on f*****g Amazon.”

“What do you bond with other female rappers over?” asked the devil.

“We bond over getting bullied. We bond over getting called ugly,” said Rico. “We bond over getting told that we look like men and that our parents should be disgusted with us, with how we turned out and how we show our p******. It’s not even just the internet, but it’s the way that people take, take, take, take, take, and give us nothing.”

“People use us as punching bags,” said Rico. “Be real because nobody’s going to say that to the men. It’s easier to talk sh** on a girl.”

“It’s so much easier because there’s so much to talk about,” said Rico. “You can talk about her hair. You can talk about her makeup. You can talk about her baby father. You can talk about her body. You can talk about her nails. You can talk about her toes. You can talk about her f*****g knees. You talk about her a**. Talk about her t******, her f*****g collarbone. You can talk about her shoulder. Talk about her elbows.”

“N*****?” she asked. “He broke. You got his haircut. You can’t dress. That’s it.”

“No, every little thing does not hurt our feelings,” said Rico. “And by now we are used and conditioned to seeing some of the worst things said about us, but some sh** is just downright disgusting and vile and evil and dark. And the sh** people say, the things people wish on your life, the things people say about your loved ones is the sh** that hurts.”

“You’re not even a person to some people, bro. You’re just like a character,” said Rico.

“I understand. How long did it take you to come up with his name, your son?” asked the Devil.

“Cameron? His first name when I got pregnant with him was Gabriel. And then one time I was getting back from a doctor’s appointment. It was broad daylight, and I was seeing bats. And my favorite movie growing up was always Batman. So, I wanted to name him Bruce Wayne Kelly.”

“Wow,” said the devil.

“His first word was Batman,” said Rico.

“That’s a huge word,” said the devil.

“Swear to God,” said Rico. She got a look.

“That’s a huge word,” said the devil.

“Swear, guy. You can ask anybody. He wouldn’t say nothing. Then, he just said Batman, bat, man. I got Cameron because I always played with Bratz dolls. Cameron was the name for one of the boy Bratz,” said Rico.

“Was it a dope boy? Was it one of the cooler boys?” asked the devil.

“He was fine,” said Rico. “I thought he was going to look like him when he was a baby. I don’t think he looks like that now.”

“What if he told you, I want to be a crime fighter. I want to a vigilante?” said the devil jotting furiously, and her pipe floated on its own at her shoulder where it was easy for the devil to take heavy drags.

“No. No. He’s not going to go into, uh, crime fighting of any f*****g sort,” said Rico.

“He takes it seriously. He’s a Batman like figure,” said the devil.

“Like anything involving like military?” asked Rico.

“He’s a Batman figure, a lone rogue with incredible ability. I can guarantee it if you want – or even make it an option,” said the devil.

“He’s like the ones on Hollywood Boulevard in the costume,” said Rico.

“No, he’s really good. He’s going to be really good,” said the devil.

“I think not,” said Rico.

The devil laughed and said she thought they had enough material and to have a good night. “It was smart not to make the agreement,” the devil said as she left. “He’ll make a fine –,” said the devil. Rico didn’t hear the rest.

Rico later said the devil was nicer than she expected. “I might be the only artist alive welcome in both heaven and hell,” she said.

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