Celebrity Case Study: Rico Nasty

You know the phrase “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do)?

It’s that, except we’re gonna make it “What Would Black Women Do” instead because that’s who’s next to godlieness right now.

Before we start, I just have to say: It has been so, so, so fucking refreshing to see my fellow Black women taking center stage these last several years. And though my focus for today is pop culture, I want it to be known that pop culture is not the only place where Black women are thriving. We owe the many Black women on the ground who have been doing local, grassroots-oriented activism for pushing political awareness out there and getting all three branches of the gov’t to flip blue — a feature not seen since the 1960s Civil Rights Era. The fact that we also have Kamala Harris front-and-center as the first (Black!) woman vice president is nothing to sneeze at either.

Kamala Harris, America's first female vice president-elect, makes history
Ms. Harris isn’t going to “save us” from the many crises that have cropped up, especially considering she has a history of endorsing pro-police policies. Still, I want to highlight this because she is the product of many Black women working together to elevate her (and others like her) to the highest positions of power. (Image (c) Philadelphia Inquirer)

But let’s take it back to pop culture here because I think that’s one of the biggest gains I’ve seen in the last half of the previous decade. Think about it: we started the 2010s in a dearth, really only having Nicki Minaj to look up to for representation in the rap game. This is not to say that she was bad (on the contrary, she put the whole genre on her back for most of the decade); rather, I’m pointing out the fact that she was literally the ONLY visible woman rapper in the game for so long. And a lot of what she had to do to gain her visibility required feats of ingenuity. She took on many personas (remember Roman?) and steered quite frequently into pop in order to garner mainstream appeal.

Then the doors started to open and we got Cardi B. Yes, she may have been “planted” by the industry as a way to artificially engineer competition for Nicki, but her staying power is cemented by her growing body of work. Better still, these labels and their attempts to create an either/or dynamic between women rappers has backfired because now we have a whole buffet to choose from. Just off the top of my head, I can list: Megan thee Stallion, Tierra Whack, Doja Cat, City Girls, Saweetie, Young M.A., HOOK, ppcocaine. Again, that’s just off the top of my head.

Suffice to say, the explosion of Black women in rap towards the end of the 2010s and into the 2020s is a very promising sign to me. The reasons for this explosion can be explained on both a mundane level — i.e. platforms like SoundCloud enabling musicians to trim the fat and avoid bullshit label deals — and on an astrological level (Uranus in Taurus is peak #divinefeminine energy if you ask me).

But I could go on for days about how the rap game changing is just one of many signs that we’re learning to honor the beauty of Black womanhood. So instead, I decided I would make this a fun little series where I pick some of my favorite Black women in the game to highlight their achievements while having some good ol’ fashioned fun with astrology.

Astrology in Action: An Overview of Rico Nasty

Maria-Cecilia Kelly (aka Rico Nasty) was born on May 7th, 1997 in Washington D.C. Normally when somebody doesn’t have a birth time I default to noon because it’s an easy catchall for at least approximating how somebody will experience their planetary placements, but I’ve opted in to setting her time for 1:00 AM for reasons we’ll be exploring below (Image (c) The Fader).

As expressed, I set her time for 1:00 AM because I remember reading this interesting article from a fellow astrologer that did the same and her placements made a lot of sense to me. I have tried to find that same article but unfortunately, nothing comes up, so let’s just start from scratch and hash it out.

If you don’t know anything about this amazing scream rapper, you don’t have to: one of the first things that will leap out at you about her is her distinguished appearance. If this approximate time is to be believed, then her Capricorn ascendant would explain her slender, compact frame. Saturn as the chart ruler “restricts” the body; she is lithe but angular, her multi-faceted personality all “contained” in a petite form. This is doubly so when we consider that Saturn is in the 2nd house (the house of both resources and material possessions), of which the body can be seen as an extension of.

How Rico decorates her body can be seen by the concentration of energy in her 1st house, especially with Uranus and Jupiter being in Aquarius. Aquarian energy is all about radicalization, and so she radicalizes herself as a form of self-expression. Again, we have a case of “doubly so” since Uranus is in domicile here — not only does she want to make a statement (“I don’t ask for shit, I demand it“) but she requires a constant reinvention in how she presents to the world. Add Jupiter, the planet of expansion and magnification into the mix, and you’ve got somebody who’s going to do it up and do it large every single day.

An few examples of Rico’s exaggerated style, which can go anywhere from punkish and tomboy to hyperfeminine. You’d be better off trying to find Carmen Sandiego than you would trying to find this woman wear the same outfit twice.

We can also attribute this desire for constant, over-the-top change in presentation to her 10H Pluto, which sextiles the cluster of planets in her 1H. The public perception that she transforms a lot is supported, even encouraged. It flows naturally from the self to her career, and being supported by Pluto’s ability to regenerate allows her to constantly transform herself.

A Quick Aside: Diving Deeper with Traditional Astrology

Method 1: Mutual Reception & Sole Depositors

Before I move on to the content of her music, I wanted to take a quick second to look at her chart using more traditional (read: Hellenistic) methods — there is, after all, never just one way to look at things.

First, let’s establish which planets take priority in her chart by going down the “Chain of Command.” That is, which planet(s) in the chart are in mutual reception with each other (transfer energy on a mutually beneficial basis), and which planet(s) are the sole depositor(s) (the planet that exert the most dominance in Rico’s life)?

Please excuse the handwriting! But here’s an example of what I mean by “Mutual Reception” and “Sole Depositor”: starting with the ascendant, I trace the planet that rules that sign (which is Saturn in the case of a Capricorn ascendant). I then see where Saturn is and trace its ruler (Mars, since Saturn is in Aries). And so on and so forth until we get to the top of the chain.

Through this method, I’ve discovered that Mars and Mercury are in Mutual Reception with each other, which tells me that it comes naturally to Rico to communicate (Mercury) her anger (Mars). She is heard loud and clear and when she is mad, there is no mistaking it for anything else! It also gives her words (which are already blunt thanks to her Mercury being in Aries) a razor sharp edge, which I believe is a major contributing factor to her style of rapping.

In addition, I have discovered that Venus and Uranus (both in their signs of rulership) act as the sole depositor to at least two planets each. They both gain a lot of power here and all of my previous statements about her Uranian impulse for change, coupled with her hyperfeminine, material loving Venusian nature “lead” the rest of the chart. This reinforces what I’ve said earlier about how, if she were born around this time, that it would explain her constantly rotating wardrobe and her love for all things pink and glittery at the same time.

Method 2: Astrology of Sect

“Astrology of Sect” is another Hellenistic concept that has to do with assessing which planets gain mofd power based on whether the person in question has a diurnal (day) chart or a nocturnal (night) chart. At the time of its conception, the then 7 classical planets (Sun-Saturn) were split up and assigned a sect.

In the daytime sect, you have the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn.

In the nighttime sect, you have the Moon, Venus, and Mars(1).

Again, coming back to Rico, I’ve chosen to establish that she’s of the nocturnal sect, so we look to the nighttime planets to see what they’re up to first.

The Moon is exalted in Taurus and Venus is domicile. Since Venus is considered a benefic (“good”) planet, Venus yet again is doing Rico nothing but favors by being here. Not only is she a deeply compassionate being who wants the best for those around her, but love is poured right back into her cup on a never-ending basis. She is rarely, if ever, lacking in her social relationships, despite the hardships and setbacks she’s faced.

As for Mars, which is considered a malefic (“bad”) planet, it’s rather neutral in Virgo. It’s not actively coming in to bust her kneecaps and slow her down, and considering we established that Mars is in harmony with Mercury, I believe the “bad” effects of Mars (which have to do with violence, anger, and accidents) are downplayed here. Instead, she gains most of Mars’ positive aspects (the drive to achieve and a healthy sexual appetite).

Sect - The Astrology Dictionary
A handy little chart to help you remember which planet goes where in case you ever want to do a deeper dive into Hellenistic Astrology (Image (c) The Astrology Dictionary).

It’s important to note that whatever gains one “team” of planet makes, the other loses out on. In this case, Jupiter’s expansive touch doesn’t reach quite as far as it’d like to, and so its potential to magnify Rico into the public eye is hampered by being “out of sect.” Similarly, Saturn (which is the other malefic) isn’t the happiest around in a night chart, so the “negative” things that it does (which is to limit and create more obstacles to overcome) are amplified here too. With Rico, it would make perfect sense: she is not shy about talking about how she came up from limited means, and it’s a fear that I believe she is still grappling with as she pushes herself harder and harder to accumulate wealth.

And Now, Have A Segway Onto the Topic of Rico’s Music

While we can also attribute Uranus and Jupiter in Aquarius for her shocking, over-the-top delivery (she is known for her ability to growl and scream in most of her raps), I think it helps that she a) has a Grand Earth Trine between Neptune, Venus, and the North Node and b) has Mars in the 8th house. Why? First, let’s look at the Grand Trine. Neptune (which is conjunct her ascendant) adds a dream-like and ethereal touch that softens up her Capricorn rising. It making pleasant aspects with Venus and her North Node means her artistry is, in a word “romanticized.” What she does is deeply inspiring to those touched by her music; we see the glamour of her persona (Neptune), love her for it (Venus), and thus, feed her “destiny” to be of service to others by disseminating her message (North Node in the 8th house). Add Mars here, and you get more clarity on the themes of her music: songs like “Rage” and “Smack a Bitch” seethe with the energy of somebody who wasn’t able to express their anger healthily because others would project onto her and tell her she was being “too much” when she really wasn’t.

A prevailing theme with those who have prominent 8H placements is that of being projected on. The 8th house deals with our shadow self and the proverbial skeletons in the closet. In this case, Mars’ energy (being about anger, action, and motivation) may have been denied to Rico when she was growing up, so she chooses to channel her frustrations through her art instead.

Of course, I don’t think Rico would have inched her way into the mainstream as quickly if her only branding was that of a punk rapper. Yes, she wears that quite proudly on her sleeve, but remember what I said about Uranus, Jupiter, and Neptune all being in the first house — the constant need for reinvention takes precedence over all. And she has proven that she can flex herself in other arenas with the production of songs like “iPhone,” which is as glitzy and hyper-popish as you can get in a song. Other songs that come to mind involve “Own It” (which is relatively “polished” and has an easy hook that draws you in despite the crystal-studded Dominatrix gear she’s rockin’) and “Lightning” (a simple, 808-heavy beat where she chooses to flex her wordplay prowess by sliding on and around the beat). She is, in a single word, versatile.

One other big thing I’ve noticed about Rico is the repeated emphasis of food and money in her lyrics — a very Taurean trait to have, yes, but the Sun-Moon conjunction is yet again a “doubly so” circumstance since it’s something that she both identifies with (Sun being ego) AND finds comfort in (Moon being emotional security). Though her Sun and Moon are not a part of her Grand Trine, this dominance of Earth energy grounds her eccentric tastes into something more concrete. She’s not just talking about getting paper — she is getting the paper.

I think “OHFR” is a good summary of everything Rico is at her best. She is out there and radical in who she is, but she moves with a sense of purpose. Her rebellion is grounded in a practical desire to provide for her family and be secure, both very Taurean matters.

I also think it explains why she comes off as very spikey and aggressive in her music, but quite soft-spoken in her personal life. This is not to say who you see isn’t the “real” Rico Nasty, but only a faucet of somebody who is truly a gentle spirit. Using music as a safe haven to vent her grievances, it frees her up in her private life (a 4th House matter, which is where her Sun, Moon, and domicile Venus are) to focus on what she loves, which is spending quality time with her family. By making sure she spends downtime recharging in-between tours and recording sessions, she re-emerges into the public eye with a renewed sense of vigor, eager to take the world by storm once again.

Lastly, the concentration of energy in the 4H makes her core motives “accessible” to her fans because they are concerns most anybody can relate to. Of course there’s the matter of wanting to eat well and provide for loved ones, but it’s also in the way she chooses to make her political stances known. There may not be some eloquent, sweeping statement on the current sociopolitical landscape of America in her lyrics, but using her platform to help other Black women artists gain exposure is more radical than anything she could say. In true Taurus fashion, she is learning to use her power to lead by example.

Just a cute little interview I wanted to post because this is another perfect example of her 4H energies coming out. Despite her tough-as-nails persona, she still loves soft, glittery colors and is quite “girly” in her spare time. You’ll also note how “delicate” she sounds when she talks, which only endears her to her fans, me included.

A Sneak Peek: Where Will She Go From Here?

A feature I want to include in my #WWBWD series will be a mini “sneak peek” at where I think the person in question COULD go based on progressions and those interactions to her natal chart(2).

I’m choosing progressions over transits for one simple reason: Progressions speak to longer-term energies and reflect the person’s inner process as they navigate changes over an extended period of time. This is not to say that transits DON’T work, but transits are better for looking at specific moments of time (whereas we can track an individual’s progression over the course of a couple of years by getting a feel for what themes might be coming up). It’s always a fun exercise for an astrologer who’s trying to get their chops!

The progressions are set based on the date of writing this, which is January 23rd, 2021.

When we look at (secondary) progressions, we pay attention to the Moon first. In this case, we note that it’s just clocked in at 0° Aries (which only screams URGENCY as she frantically pushes herself to get more projects out and rake in the dough). Though she has some time — up to a year, I surmise — before the progressed Moon approaches conjunction with her natal Saturn, I get the sense that she’s working on setting up structures to ensure these money-making projects come to fruition in a tangible, sustainable way. There may be some setbacks and frustrations as she meets this goal, but I see this as evidence that her goal for 1B is not just talk so long as she can weather the delays of getting there.

What’s more, her MC has since migrated into Sagittarius, where it’s conjunct her natal Pluto. Already having a natal MC in Scorpio is a traditional indicator in astrology for amassing wealth through fame (remember that Scorpio has some associations to the 8H, which deals with gaining resources through the “other”) — but now that her MC is conjunct her 10H ruler, she’s set up to increase her appeal and really take off. Because Pluto is a slow moving energy, her fame may not be as sudden as that of her peers, but the trade-off is that she’s going to be in the game for a longer period of time.

The other factors that I think will be helping her along in her endeavor is her prog. Mercury conjunct her 4H planets and her prog. Sun entering Gemini (which rules her 5th house).

Mercury here tells me she’ll be more vocal about her private life. I have noticed that, as her son gets older, she hasn’t been as shy about showing off and discussing how she spends time with him. This extends into her lyrics — she’s been using her son as another source of creative inspiration to keep heading off in new directions lyrically (i.e. “I call you my son ‘cus you actin’ like a kid”).

The prog. Sun, on the other hand, suggests her dating life may start entering the limelight — the one part of her life I feel has been kept so under wraps that it’s hard to glean who she is and isn’t dating, if she is at all! Curious fans are going to love learning about it of course, but the Sun here also tells me she’s going to learn to have more fun in her relationships and express her sexuality in a more light-hearted matter (which we’re already getting snippets of from songs like “Pussy Poppin'”).

Considering that Rico Nasty is my favorite living artist right now, I have a personal investment in seeing her career flourish. She has been living out the pop-punk fantasy I have long dreamed of seeing hit the mainstream, and I see her as a leader in pushing the punk rap genre forward. As she continues to tweak her sounds and push her presence forward, I just want to applaud her as one of the many Black woman who’s definitely one killing it right now. Let’s hope this energy keeps flourishing as we inch forward into the new decade.

This one isn’t meant for anything specific. I just think it’s so good that I need everybody who’s reading this to listen to it and bop.

(1) Mercury, true to its two sided nature, can be either/or depending on certain conditions that I won’t get into today just so this article doesn’t become 50 pages long.

(2) Just wanted to make a small note here that you’ll see my chart images change. This is because I use both Janus Light and astro.com to do my readings, as Janus Light does not support progressions of any kind. I eventually hope to upgrade but until that time comes, please bear with me as I toggle with the two!

About the Author

Jasmine Lomax (she/her) is a freelance content creator, educator, and poet who currently resides in Seattle, Washington. When Jasmine isn’t busy ticking away at the computer, she enjoys reading, swimming, tending to her spiritual studies, and the occasional bout of crying over fictional characters.


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