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2023 Governors Ball Music Festival

Source: Astrida Valigorsky / Getty

In just two years, 23-year-old rapper Ice Spice – whose real name is Isis Naija Gaston – has proven to be a force in the hip-hop and entertainment industry. Ever heard the viral hit “Munch (Feelin’ U)”? That’s her.

Ice Spice has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, such as Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, graced the covers of magazines such as PAPER and DAZED, and been vouched for by music heavy hitters from Drake to Cardi B. Some naysayers are skeptical of her fast success.

They say her skin tone – as opposed to her talent – is her claim to fame.

Ice Spice discussed these comments in a recent interview with Teen Vogue. As part of the June cover story, the Bronx rapper reacted to the opinions and criticism and immediately dismissed them.

“I have seen those opinions. I feel like that’s not something personal to me. I feel like that’s been the conversation for generations and forever, since the beginning of time,” said Ice Spice. “I try not to feed into negativity because I also see that when people are trying to make that point, it’s not out of a good place. [They end up putting] somebody else down.”

Ice Spice on staying humble amid the hate

She continues in the story to talk about how many compare her to others older than her and debate her fame while doing her best to stay humble and manage change.

“I’m most proud of staying grounded so far, because I’ve already been through so many things that I know a lot of people would’ve lost their f*cking minds,” Ice Spice told Teen Vogue. “The whole lifestyle change is super drastic, especially coming from where I come from, not coming from sh*t and not having a lot growing up, to now — it’s the complete opposite…. Even though it’s a positive change, it’s still a change.”

We applaud the Bronx rapper for remaining unbothered by social media trolls and negativity. And, for such a hot cover shoot. Not only were the looks, such as the tan, monochromatic floor-length gown, and pink corset dress, a moment, but they screamed “Hey hater” with each and every flick.

Seeing a young artist torn down by such an antiquated notion is sad. It’s giving jealous hater.

The discourse shows how far we still have to go as a culture and discredits everything Spice has done to get to this point. Numbers don’t lie; according to Teen Vogue, she’s had more than 43 million YouTube views, three billion TikTok engagements, and nearly 87 million Spotify streams.

2023 Governors Ball Music Festival

Source: Taylor Hill / Getty

The criticism also doesn’t allow space for those lighter-skinned, fairer girls that see themselves in Spice. Media remains a place for younger generations to see themselves reflected, learn how to find their voice, and simply be authentic. Spice is unapologetic, unfettered, and raw. Her popularity lends itself to her talent but also to the needs of those who will inevitably come behind her.

When it comes to tired topics like ‘colorism,’ we can all take a message from Ice.

“I feel like I know who I am,” Ice told Teen Vogue. “I’m really that b*tch, and I tell myself that all the time because I learned that I have to.…”

Tell ’em, sis – we’re here for it. Continue to be booked, busy, and unbothered.

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