2023 is Ice Spice’s year. Since her meteoric rise to fame after the release of “Munch,” the Bronx rapper has collaborated with some of the world’s top artists, such as Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift. She is the artist with the most top five Hot 100 hits this year, according to Billboard.
Ice Spice — whose real name is Isis Gaston — has garnered a dedicated fanbase. Her popularity has also been subject to debate, with questions surrounding her race being part of the conversation surrounding the rapper. Speculation led to the rapper sharing she is Dominican and Nigerian. Months later, her race came into the spotlight again as The 1975’s Matty Healy made racist remarks toward her in an interview — comments he has since apologized for.
Ice Spice has faced the questions and criticism that are too common for women of color, and some fans have also pointed to colorism to explain her rise to fame. Black women of a lighter complexion have been regarded as the beauty standard in pop culture. Rapper Monaleo has previously spoken about the phenomenon to open up the conversation on colorism in the music industry.
In recent months, fans have pointed to Flo Milli as a rapper who isn’t getting the recognition she deserves because of her darker skin tone. The rapper has shut down these comparisons with Ice Spice, saying they are used to bring down other artists. In early June, the rappers performed together on stage at Hot 97’s Summer Jam.
“I have seen those opinions,” Ice Spice told Teen Vogue about the fans who point to colorism to explain her rise to fame. “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.”
“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,” she added. “[They end up putting] somebody else down.”