Rising rap queen Rico Nasty and producer Kenny Beats have put the rage in rager on their newest collaborative effort, Anger Management.
On past collabs like “Roof,” Rico’s manic growl has proven a perfect fit for the grimey trap of Kenny Beats (mostly credited on this album as “KENNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY”), and the two only improve their chemistry on this full-length project. True to its title, the album stays consistently aggressive in the first half, which features the trademark raspy ad-libs-as-loud-as-vocals delivery Ms. Nasty has built her career off of. However, Rico shows off her more thoughtful side as the album progresses, which is a surprise, but a welcome one at that.
Opener, “Cold,” is one of Rico’s most in-your-face tracks yet, and stands in contrast to the mostly sung closer, “Again.” The new vocal range is a strength for Rico, and though some fans might be turned off by her attempt at more mellow tracks, they allow her lyrics and vocals to truly shine. The vocals come off a bit bratty at points, but it works it works with the merciless, vengeful persona that her music conjures.
Kenny Beats brings his signature style, with metallic drums, heavily distorted bass and icy synth leads, but outside of a few oddball samples and the boom-bap influenced “Relative,” the production can feel a little bit one-note. That said, when that note is as fantastically hard-hitting as it is here it’s hard to complain, especially when the project is only 19 minutes long.
Overall, Anger Management is more of what Rico and Kenny do best, but it also pushes them into places that they haven’t explored in the past. Needless to say, it’s only left me wanting more from one of traps most exciting duos.
Claire Brown is a writer and a total music nerd. She has been writing for MMC since 2018.