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Who? Ice Spice is the New York rapper bringing a pop sensibility to a drill rap sound.
Where? Bronx, New York
What? Has just released her debut EP Like..?
With her ginger Orphan Annie look and casual rap style, 23-year-old rapper Ice Spice arrived with the viral hit ‘(Feelin’ U)’ in August, a song which perfectly melds the dark sub-bass of drill with a hooky chorus refrain.
Ice Spice, real name, Isis Gaston, started rapping in 2021 after meeting producer RIOT, who she has gone on to make every tune with since, denoted by the somewhat grating ID tag “stop playing with ’em Riiot!”
Their first collab was the March 2021 ‘Bully Freestyle’ followed by ‘Name Of Love’, and a run of other singles, but it was ‘Munch’ which captured the imagination, and yes, Drake flew her out for OVO Fest in Toronto after playing the song on his OVO Sound Sirius XM radio show. (He’s since unfollowed her because Drake).
In October, Ice Spice dropped ‘Bikini Bottom’, and the DNA of bright drill instrumentation and Gaston’s quick-fire laid-back rap style was cemented as a hit.
“How can I lose if I’m already chose?”
Last week, Ice Spice released her debut EP Like..? on 10K Projects/Capitol Records, a fun opening release gambit, which doubles down on the style
“Oh, they mad ’cause I keep making bops/Oh, she mad ’cause I’m taking her spot/If I was bitches, I’d hate me a lot,” she raps on ‘In Ha Mood’.
‘Princess Diana’ is the fresh EP standout, and has a pop crossover sound that you could imagine Cardi B rapping over one of these RIOT beats too.
Ice Spice’s rap appeal is her casual, playful confidence, with an instantly iconic look (that Lil Nas X dressed as for Halloween) and the EP’s 6-tracks has it in spades, and establishes the sound that flew with ‘Munch’ with a second chapter, and makes Ice Spice the emerging American rapper, likely soon to be crossover pop star, of the moment.