You’ve seen her name on the Block Party lineup. Now it’s time to get acquainted.

Rico Nasty isn’t your average 21 year old.

Born Maria-Cecilia Simone Kelly and an only child from Maryland, Nasty was surrounded by rap music. Her father was a rapper, and raised her on artists like Nas and Beyonce while she was growing up, artists that have strongly influenced her music style. She began rapping in high school, releasing her first mixtape “Summer’s Eve” when she was a junior. Since then, Nasty has released five more projects, with her most recent (and most famous) being 2018’s “Nasty.” She’s also released a variety of singles and hopped onto songs with artists from Injury Reserve to Doja Cat, making her one of the most ambitious artists in rap today.

Rico Nasty also isn’t the typical rapper. Aggressive and brash, she rap-yells over metal-inspired beats creating a style that you’ve definitely never heard before. Her songs are more suited for moshing than the club, and she’s amassed a core fanbase that resonates with her style. Nasty shows will leave you bruised with your adrenaline pumping, which is why we’re lucky to have her for this year’s Block Party. With a style that involves multi colored wigs, spiked up hair, and punk outfits, you’re able to pick her out of a crowd.

Nasty is more than her persona, though. At 18, Nasty and her then-boyfriend Brandon found out she was pregnant with her son, Cameron. A few months before Cameron’s birth, Brandon unexpectedly passed away from an asthma attack. Nasty doesn’t like to publicly talk about the tragedy; the one glimpse into her feelings is in her Fader documentary, “Countin Up,’” which centers around her life outside of music. In the film, she shows two of her tattoos, a moon and “Keep Thy Heart” in cursive — both tattoos that Brandon used to have. A strong woman, Nasty was able to pick herself up when Cameron arrived. Now 3-years-old, Cameron is Nasty’s pride and joy; she used her first check after signing with Atlantic Records to buy him toys! She’s a kind mother, with her documentary capturing the intense love she feels for her young son. It’s easy to forget that she’s a mother, but it’s easy to remember that she’s a good role model to have, whether it be for her son or for her fans.

There’s a Nasty song for everyone. Her mixtapes “Sugar Trap” and “Sugar Trap 2” are filled to the brim with her twist on bubbly, upbeat rap, with songs like “Key Lime OG” and “Poppin” admittedly fan favorites. If you’re looking for something harder, there’s her popular single “Smack A B***h,” an ode to rejecting contempt from haters, or the Kenny Beats-produced “Trust Issues.” No matter your music style, you’ll find something that’ll make you fall head over heels for Rico Nasty — I know I have!

Fresh off of a much-buzzed about SXSW run, Rico Nasty is gearing up for a slew of festival performances and a European tour. She hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet, but with millions of streams on her songs, her festival spots, and a major-label record deal, she’s almost there. Don’t miss your chance to see Rico before she’s super popular for bragging rights and an unforgettable experience. Wear good shoes and get ready to mosh your heart out to Rico’s fire songs in the Carrier Dome!

By Mackenzie Glaubitz