Rico Nasty is the best mainstream female trap rapper out there and it's not even close, yet she fails to live up to her full potential time after time and "Nightmare Vacation" is no exception to that.
"OHFR?" is one my favorite singles of 2020, if not my favorite, but there is nothing on this record that lives up to its standards. However, there's definitely a unique blend of much more accessible pop rap elements with hardcore hip hop characteristics all throughout the effort, or as Rico Nasty would put it - "Sugar Trap", and that's undoubtedly something that launches her above her peers, standing out for her creativity and witty blend of contrasting styles in an incredibly oversaturated industry.
Truth be told that, on this release in particular, this blend is much more spread out throughout separate tracks than merged into singular tracks, as it's vastly easier to predict which one is going to fall under each category. With that much less creative amalgamation, it's more simple for me to pick which cuts I enjoy the most, those being the more ruthless and in-your-face hardcore hip hop ones. And even those are not constantly great, a lot of them are obstructed by lackluster and unfit features and, once in a while, by extremely uncreative choruses too, as showcased on "Check Me Out", "STFU" and "Let It Out", which are not necessarily unpleasant for anything other than the hooks. Rico Nasty is just repeating "check me out", "shut the fuck up" and "let it out", respectively, 10 times in a row and calling it a day and I cannot get behind that. Still, for the most part, Rico Nasty is in her natural habitat here, delivering dynamic performances with nothing in the way of multiple flow switches, incredibly contagious energy and imposing deliveries.
The LP starts notably more shaky in its first third but after such it begins to build up momentum, every tune starts to transition much more smoothly into the following and, with that, the listening experience commences to feel a lot more cohesive, as the fusion of such dissimilar aesthetics with "Candy", "Don't Like Me", "Check Me Out" and "IPHONE" all back-to-back, may give the impression, at first glance, that the album is going to be an absolute mess.
It also has to be said that Rico Nasty's more melodic and accessible approach with pop rap and bubblegum bass attempts all sprinkled throughout the record don't do her any favors, as those are certainly the weakest - the bubbly and dreamy instrumentals are not as ear-grabbing as the boomy, sonorous and hard-hitting beats found on the much more extreme rap cuts and not only is that instrumentation not as gratifying as the latter but her singing is also faulty and her voice just doesn't work alongside auto-tune as well as it does in some of her contemporaries cases. Nevertheless, the production carries this release as it contains some of the most imaginative beats out of any trap album this year, we can only describe it as anything but generic.
In conclusion, "Nightmare Vacation" is a record that stands out in an unoriginal field but falls flat, still, for its messy and convoluted blends.
Favorite tracks: Candy, Back & Forth, Girl Scouts, Loser, No Debate, OHFR?, 10Fo, Own It and Smack A Bitch.
Least favorite tracks: Don't Like Me and IPHONE.