From the enigmatic, wildly creative queen of hyperpop comes a new single. Rico Nasty’s recent release on the 13th came as a surprise for fans who have been patiently waiting for new music for a while. And as usual, she delivered tenfold, offering not only a song but a video too.
The song begins with a synthetic drone that is then layered with a more focused, lighthearted three note trill. Then — a robotic Rico blares the chorus. The self assured android notes, humorously, “Smoking so much gas / I forgot to put my mask on.”
The digital voice continues into a verse fit with references and bravado, conjuring up images that are both sleek and nostalgic such as “He on my hip like a tamagotchi”.
In the latter half of the first verse, Rico’s real voice dominates then swerves, bleeding in and out of the electronic one. The lines are dotted with her classic, exuberant woahs, which bring us back to the chorus.
The video fits the song exactly. A house is lit with vibrant, humming fluorescence. The overall vibe of the video is very reminiscent of the y2k aesthetic that has been making a recent resurgence in the public consciousness.
Rico is split throughout the video, taking on various forms. Her selves consist of a misty hologram, a sailor moon-esque figurine with whips of hair and cartoon eyelashes, a filtered alien glittering with sparkles, an avatar one would make on IMVU. Her hand crawls out of a dark iPhone screen like a lagoon creature, nails first. She is the static on TV. She is everywhere. She overwhelms the screen.
The “He” mentioned in the second verse is seen very briefly, sporting a spiked collar and riding a rollercoaster. In the song, he is paranoid, afraid of his phone being hacked and tapped. Rico isn’t answering his calls. His virtual comfort is being shattered, his cyber grip threatened. In the video, we are stripped of his noise, focused solely on the fun that can be had.
In a recent interview with Genius, Rico said that the song is as much about sour, toxic relationships as it is about the way we treat our phones. There’s more overlap than we might think. During the interview Rico elaborated on this idea by saying, “You don’t let nobody hold it. You don’t let anybody in.”
The song is both a throwback while also giving a glimpse of the future. It is simultaneously a celebration and warning of our increasing reliance on our phones. Rico is making us question our selves, both physical and electronic. How comfortable should we allow ourselves to get with sharing our lives? How much should we hide?