On her debut album, Nightmare Vacation, Rico Nasty flexes her chops as the queen of pop-punk rap. Combining her sugary, singsong side with the gruff, discordant, mosh-pit rap that she’s made her signature over the years, the Maryland rapper’s energy is infectious. On the sharpest of her new songs, like “OHFR?” and “iPhone” – both produced by 100 gec’s Dylan Brady – the 23-year-old fuses these two dominant sonic impulses, sounding like she’s gurgling gravel with a hellish grin. On “Pussy Poppin”, a sex-positive track about “coochie”, she leans into her sensual side (“It’s the Nasty part of Rico,” she tells Dazed), while “Girl Scouts” is a gruff rallying cry set to a discordant beat.
Elsewhere, Los Angeles rapper Drakeo the Ruler shares his first full-length album since his release from prison, Japanese singer Ichiko Aoba’s record is disarmingly intimate, and London jazz icon Yussef Dayes drops a moody live session.