On Wednesday singer Taylor Swift made an announcement on her Twitter handle.
“Um. SO much to tell you,” her long tweet began. “I’m a massive fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch. So delighted to say that Karma Featuring the incredible @icespicee_,” Swift wrote in part.
The news of this collaboration with fast-rising rapper Ice Spice was initially received with excitement. Spice has been on a roll since the release of her hit “Munch”. She has collaborated with Nicki Minaj and attended the Met Gala this year with Balmain. One of the three accompanying photos Swift added to her announcement featured artwork of Swift and Spice in jumpsuits with long laser-like leashes dragging planets close to them. Swift’s leash was attached to Earth, while Spice’s was tied to Uranus. A planet that supposedly represents karma.
But a close look at what appears to be a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between artists from vastly different musical backgrounds quickly took a left turn.
A Close Read
To many, Taylor Swift’s decision to collaborate with Ice Spice isn’t a coincidence. In fact, many claim that the collaboration was a calculated strategy. One designed to absolve Swift from any of the negative news swirling around her recently.
“Taylor Swift failing to address the racist comments Matt Healy made towards Ice Spice and then finding a way to profit off of her with a new collab is a textbook example of white woman feminism. It’s convenient, manipulative and continues to shield and protect white men,” one user noted.
The general consensus around the issue is that for Taylor Swift, this collaboration is a way of shedding any sense of guilt. One brought on solely by association.
“Collaborating with the woman your boyfriend was busy making racist comments about but not breaking up with said boyfriend is very (weird face emoji),” another user pointed out.
The Boyfriend Problem
Taylor Swift is reportedly dating Matty Healy. He is an English singer-songwriter and the lead vocalist for pop rock band, The 1975. Also, a few months ago, Healy openly admitted to consuming imagery that degrades and humiliates black women. And previously, the vocalist was spotted doing the Hitler salute while performing on stage. Even more damning, Spotify removed an episode of “The Adam Friedland Show” that Healy appeared in due to its offensive content. The content included racist jokes made about Ice Spice, whom Swift, Healy’s boyfriend, is now collaborating with.
According to a BuzzFeed article, “Matty, 34, and the podcast’s hosts, Adam Friedland and Nick Mullen, laughed gleefully as they joked about the rapper being ‘one of the Inuit Spice Girls,’ a ‘chubby Chinese lady,’ and an ‘Eskimo’ while mocking a variety of accents.”
While many in Swift’s camp allege her collaboration with Spice has been in the works long before Healy’s comments came out, for some her insistence to remain partnered with him sends the wrong message. Others argue that Swift shouldn’t be judged for her boyfriend’s actions, no matter how deplorable.
Amidst all of this, however, Swift hasn’t released an official statement. The collaboration is set to be released late Thursday.