Watch Mahalia and Rico Nasty go back to the 90s in their new music video

Inspired by the Hype Williams cult classic 'Belly', ‘Jealous’ is pure old school MTV. Take an exclusive first look at the visual here.

by Frankie Dunn
17 February 2021, 9:00pm

With a second BRIT nomination, features on albums by Pa Salieu and Headie One, and a GRAMMY nomination for her collab with Jacob Collier, Mahalia is very much back. You want more good news? The Leicester-born, London-based musician’s new single “Jealous” — nostalgic R&B perfection — is a collaboration with her good friend, Washington rapper Rico Nasty. “Covid couldn’t stop shit!" 23-year-old Rico says of the collaboration, her second release of 2021 following “Lil Bitch”. “I’m so happy to be a part of this record with Mahalia.”

The Cadenza-produced “Jealous” was written last summer, born from the hurt Mahalia was feeling at the time. “I never knew how much unsupportive friends could break my heart — much more than any romantic relationship anyway,” she says. “I used to spend a lot of time blaming myself when others had something bad to say about me, thinking about all the things I could’ve done to hurt them, to make them say those things.” At this point, Mahalia notes, her mum would typically jump in and suggest that jealousy might be the problem. “Using that word to describe others' behaviour always felt a little narcissistic to me, but then I realised that we all experience that at some point; we all want what we don’t have, and that can cause hate to spill out of us, whether aimed at someone in the public eye, on Instagram or someone much closer to us.” 

“Jealous” is about Mahalia standing up to that attitude. “Instead of blaming myself for others’ behaviour, this is me believing in my queen energy.” And honestly, the attitude across both the track and the accompanying music video gives off exactly that. For the project, London director Melody Maker took major inspiration from the severely underrated 1998 Hype Williams movie Belly, starring Nas and DMX — from the fashion right through to the set and the cinematography. “I was born in the year that this film was made, so I had to do my research, but the colours and the fashion and hairstyles inspired me hugely,” Mahalia says. “I love the late-90s, early-2000s look in music videos. They remind me of running home from school, throwing MTV on the TV and sitting on the floor for hours just watching. I want to make videos like that and ‘Jealous’ feels like the first step!”

Talking of which, in the video, Mahalia breaks into an MTV Cribs-worthy home, while Rico hacks the tech to deactivate alarms, burn their victim in the shower and generally fuck shit up. There are strobes, dance routines and a truly epic scream around the two-minute mark. “I loooooove Rico. It's really an honour!” Mahalia says. “I’ve been following her and listening to her for almost two years now. She’s an icon, and just the baddest bitch in the game. This link up was huge for me!” It was huge for us too, tbh. Take it all in below to discover why.

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Rico Nasty