It has been practically impossible to miss the impact of one of hip-hop’s newest it-girls. If you haven’t yet, don’t worry. Meet Ice Spice, the TikTok sensation that is now heating up your airways.
The rapper got her first start on the scene with the single “Munch (Feeling U)” but who is she? Let’s start before the fame.
Developing Ice Spice
Isis Gaston was born on the first day of the millennium. Many of her fans on TikTok say that she was destined for greatness since birth. She was raised in The Bronx by her Nigerian father and Dominican mother, who divorced by the time she was two years old. Growing up she took a liking to rap. Her father was a local underground rapper, so her love for music developed at 7 years old. She found inspiration from acts like Nicki Minaj. She began writing poetry and freestyles in elementary school through high school. By her freshman year, she created “Ice Spice” and wanted to take her career to the next level.
After high school she attended SUNY Purchase as a mass communications major. Eventually, she dropped out but not after meeting RIOTUSA, who attended the school as well. RIOTUSA is the son of NYC’s Hot 97’s own DJ Enuff and has cultivated a career for himself as a producer.
Ice Spice Going Viral
After dropping out of college in 2020, she decided to put her music at the forefront. She took to TikTok to have a wider reach. Back in January 2021, Erica Banks’ “Buss it” challenge took the app by storm. The challenge consisted of users looking very normal with no makeup and a scarf or glasses on at first. When the song gets to the chorus, the same user will drop down and transition into a full look with hair and makeup done.
Ice Spice joined in on the challenge for fun, but little did she know that this was her key to stardom.
The now-deleted video went viral and even resurfaced last November as fans realized the girl that dropped it down low the previous year is the same girl bringing a new sound to hip-hop. Ice Spice decided to capitalize off of this momentum and dropped her single “Bully Freestyle” the following March. The track was produced by Riot and solidified them as a dynamic duo.
Hit After Hit After Hit
“Bully Freestyle” went on to become a hit amongst her core fans. The song was featured on Apple Music’s The New New York playlist and fueled her fire. She and Riot released more projects like “Munch (Feeling u)” and “Bikini Bottom.” Both of which ended up going viral. She began getting traction on social media and seemingly grew overnight. Her TikTok following now stands at 2.7 million.
What makes her music so creative is its sound. Drill music has become very popular especially in the New York area. Ice Spice and Riot took the drill sound and added a twist to it. Her songs sample 2000’s EDM and pop hits like “Clarity” by Zedd and “In the Name of Love” by Bebe Rexha and Martin Garrix. “Bikini Bottom” got it’s name from using a beat that sounded similar to a tune you would hear while watching Nickelodeon’s “Sponegbob Squarepants.”
The duo recently released Ice Spice’s first EP, “Like..?” The project consists of a track list with only six songs: “In Ha Mood,” “Princess Diana,” “Gangsta Boo,” feat. Lil Tjay, “Actin’ a Smoochie,” “Bikini Bottom,” and “Munch (Feelin’ U).” Although a few songs on this project were previously released, the newer ones didn’t stray away from the unique drill sound. “In Ha Mood” and “Acton’ a Smoochie” both incorporate the Jersey club sound that is growing in popularity as well. “Gangsta Boo” features a sample from Diddy’s “I Need a Girl (Part 2).”
Pitchfork released a detailed review of the new project. In the article, the EP received a rating of 7.6, higher than the albums “Her Loss” by Drake & 21 Savage, “I Never Liked You” by Future, and “It’s Only Me” by Lil Baby. Each album have been considered some of the best hip-hop projects of 2022.
It’s evident that Ice Spice’s journey is just beginning and she knows that too. In an interview with XXL Magazine she says she’s just getting started. “I just started my career so I got a long way to go before I’m satisfied. But I want to be remembered for all the things I didn’t get to do yet.”