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Rico Nasty: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

"I like having a band," Rico Nasty says with a giggle midway through her Tiny Desk (home) concert. "Especially when it's all girls."

As an artist known to mash up the genres of rap, rock and pop — and create a safe space for women to do the same — Rico has rarely gotten the chance to put this full artistic collision on display. For her Tiny Desk debut, Rico takes every opportunity to flex her rage and range.

Dressed as if she's the main character out of a Tim Burton adaptation of Candyland, Rico bounces around her varied discography, never letting the audience get too comfortable with one sound. Starting off with one of her most recent cuts, the soft, surf rock-inspired "Magic," the magnetic performer pulls a switch-up on viewers by jumping into some of her more raucous bangers, the type that would normally incite a sweaty mosh pit at her concerts. Of course, she closes the set with a shredding version of her breakout single, the primal scream mantra of "Smack A Bitch." The high-energy display evokes childlike joy and confection just as much as it does unapologetic savagery. "I don't know where you at, where you watching this," Rico smirks at one point. "You better break some s***."

Since her early mixtape days all the way up to her 2020 debut album, Nightmare Vacation, Rico has waded in sonic dichotomy to blend her signature sound, deemed "sugar trap," and in the process, became a beacon for women in rap to eloquently express their anger. As one of the DMV's most formidable forces, Rico always compels her fans to jump up, take charge and never apologize for what they feel.


  • "Magic"
  • "Rage"
  • "OHFR?"
  • "Trust Issues"
  • "Smack a Bitch"

  • Rico Nasty: vocals
  • Lanita Smith: keys
  • Tiffani Walker: drummer
  • Kyla Wright: bassist
  • Liso Lee: guitarist
  • Rodney Jones Jr.: MD

  • Video: Lia B, Evan Avtal, Denis Rudchenko, Benjamin Meserve, Wayan Palmieri
  • Audio: Cole Nystrom

  • Producer: Abby O'Neill
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Gabrielle Pierre
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

    Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.