SEE A DIFFERENT SIDE OF RICO NASTY IN NEW DOC ‘COUNTIN’ UP’
By Awa Gueye
February 14, 2019
As a young Black woman I am protective of my sisters and how they are portrayed in the media. Often they are caricatured and shown as one-dimensional, which is not an honest reflection of who they are. Countin’ Up does the one-and-only Marie Kelly, publicly known as Rico Nasty, and her journey thus far justice.
The doc gives us a look into Rico Nasty’s life as a rising star and young mother. The storytelling in this film is superb, using all kinds of mediums to give us an intimate look into her world. The film begins with a quick snippet of Rico’s song “Smack A Bitch?” paired with a view of a street as if we, the audience, are speeding in a vehicle. We instantly understand the fast-paced, punk, don’t-give-a-fuck existence Rico lives. Almost as quickly as this begins it ends reminding you that you may be familiar with Rico but you have no idea who Marie Kelly is. Suddenly, we are thrown into the bright, quiet, steady world of Marie Kelly, the mother.
Just like in her music, Rico is youthful, energetic, emotional and honest. In her first one-on-one with the camera she discusses getting pregnant at a young age. While expressing that it was a scary time in her life, she is funny, “The bitch was so happy to tell me I was pregnant like she didn’t see my birthday or something. Like bitch you know how young I am…” Rico doesn’t apologize for her emotions or overexplain herself, she just tells the truth and it is exactly enough. She exudes confidence.
Cam (Rico’s son) and her forever love and child’s father, Brandon, are heavily featured through Rico’s words in this documentary. While Brandon passed away a few years ago, he is very present in this film through Rico, Cam and friends. It is clear that he inspired the Nasty tribe to live intentional lives full of purpose. They are a kind and poetic group. Rico and her friends may be young but they have experienced hardship and turned it into meaningful art.
While Rico’s vulnerability may come natural to her, being this honest on camera can not be an easy thing to do. Enter the world of Rico with this amazing portrayal of her life so far!