V-Nasty's Doin' Numbers: Abrasive, Odious -- and Totally Enjoyable
V-Nasty entered 2012 with the stench of BAYTL all over her. A collaboration with her favorite rapper, Gucci Mane, the mixtape was received by critics as hip-hop's sloppiest shit-sandwich in a while. The Bay's V-Nasty and Atlanta's Gucci may have enjoyed a few larks in the studio while making the record, but it came off like the sound of a star-struck fan getting to meet their idol, instead of a couple of peers collaborating. (That neither V-Nasty nor Gucci are actually very good at rapping did not help matters.)
But now, with her long-promised solo mixtape, Doin' Numbers (free download), V-Nasty hasn't just redeemed herself -- she's demonstrated the promise and pull that all of her early online hype and hatred warranted. Put simply, the 14-track project is the sound of the V-Nasty that came to infamy through that YouTube video of her strutting around Oakland cursing people out and generally embarking on anti-social behavior. The personality depicted in that clip was abrasive, uncompromising, and odious -- which, when flipped into rap form, makes for an utterly endearing character.
V-Nasty sounds high-strung and, well, high on more than a few things when she spits her barbs, which resonate like a bunch of foul-mouthed nursery rhymes. With her high-pitched vocals and fondness for dipping into pimp talk, at times she brings to mind a female, Bay-based version of N.W.A.'s squeaky-voiced chief instigator Eazy-E. On the Zaytoven-produced standout "Two Rings," she brags about riding around her 'hood in a Porsche while doing nothing more than furthering a singular agenda: "I got a bad bitch, every nigga want her/ She keeps a wet pussy, she from California/ Bring the money home, it's all on the bitch/ 'Cause I don't fuck with broke hoes I'm picky, bitch!"
Again: It's the musical companion to that flick of V-Nasty going about her daily business in Oakland. Crucially, she seems to have the city on her side, as she's packed the tape with cameos and production from local sympathizers: DB Tha General, Quise Tha Criminal, Roach Gigz, Erk Tha Jerk, and Mistah FAB all bless her with guest raps, along with White Girl Mob members Princess Mermaid on "Clap That Ass" and Kreayshawn on "More Bitches." (Airing out her first official verse since "Rich Whores," Kreayshawn doesn't impress quite like V-Nasty, her poppier flow and less sociopathic raps sitting at odds with the caustic tone of the tape. If V-Nasty prospers on a gutter level, Kreayshawn is a more natural fit shooting for the mainstream.)
V-Nasty has inspired a heap of controversy with her short career to date. But it's telling that, despite the Internet having spread her notoriety worldwide, her most persuasive work is firmly rooted in her home turf. On Doin' Numbers she raps like the girl she's been saying grew up with the police raiding her house -- and it sounds natural and believable. Welcome home, the real V-Nasty.