Blending bubblegum and bullets like a hardcore Powerpuff Girl, Washington, D.C.-area rapper Rico Nasty weaves hip-hop with her self-described "sugar trap" aesthetic.
The Largo, Maryland native born Maria Kelly started rhyming via poetry, which later led to rap. Her early tracks -- "Hey Arnold," "iCarly," and "Iggady [Remix]" -- helped her develop an underground following, and she would go on to release mixtapes like Sugar Trap and The Rico Story. A collaborative EP with fellow DMV native Tino Loud titled Cuffin Season arrived in 2016. When Lil Yachty hopped on a remix of "Hey Arnold" that same year, it helped propel Rico toward an even larger audience. She returned the favor on "Mamacita," which was included on the Fate of the Furious soundtrack. In 2017, Rico issued the Tales of Tacobella and Sugar Trap 2 mixtapes. Continuing her prolific run, she released Nasty in 2018. The set featured Blocboy JB on "In the Air" and Lil Gnar on "Transformer." ~ Neil Z. Yeung