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Ice Spice Is Every Black Woman Who Has Had To Work With A White Woman With A Questionable Partner Leave a comment


Ice Spice hopping on Taylor Swift’s new track has not had the hoped-for cleansing effect on the Pop/Country megastar’s “Karma.”

The Bronx drill rapper brought her ginger curls and signature enthusiasm to the hit track with a remix released on May 26. But instead of gaining the desired clout from the feature, Swift was accused of trying to deflate criticism about her problematic new beau by working with Gen-Z’s Princess of Rap.

Swift has reportedly been dating Matty Healy, singer-songwriter and lead singer of British Pop/Rock band The 1975. Their connection has brought internet scrutiny raining on him, and it has been widely reported that he previously made questionable comments about Black women, including a few directly aimed at Ice Spice.

Ice Spice Is Every Black Woman Who Has Had To Work With A White Woman With A Questionable Partner
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 01: Ice Spice attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

On May 15, Swifties were horrified to hear Healy jovially discussing pleasuring himself to “Ghetto Gaggers,” a hardcore pornography site that specifically highlights the sexual brutalization of Black women, in a recently resurfaced audio clip from The Adam Friedland Show podcast released in February of this year.

On the same program, Healy also encouraged racially charged comments targeted at Ice Spice, specifically. Despite the Hip-Hop debutante having gone on record with Elle in January saying that she’s a big fan of alternative music and “obsessed” with The 1975, the band’s frontman egged on mocking of her phenotypical features and weight by the show’s hosts.

When Healy mentioned that he had actually DMed the rapper on social media, Friedland and his podcast co-host Nick Mullen began derogatorily speculating on her cultural identity and ethnicity, calling her everything from an “Inuit Spice Girl” to a “chubby Chinese lady,” all while mocking various AAPI accents and requesting that he DM her once again to ask “‘What are you? A f*cking Eskimo or something?” All of this was met with verbal agreement and eager laughter from Healy.

Healy later gave a half-hearted apology of sorts while performing with his band in New Zealand in late April. “Ice Spice, I’m sorry,” he said on stage, according to Rolling Stone. “It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m a dick. I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry.”

Ice Spice Is Every Black Woman Who Has Had To Work With A White Woman With A Questionable Partner
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 16: Taylor Swift and Matty Healy seen leaving ‘The Electric Lady’ studio in Manhattan on May 16, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)

Ice Spice releasing a song with Swift amidst this information swirling makes her the same as every other working Black woman seeking professional advancement in uncomfortable circumstances.

Working with Taylor Swift is a huge opportunity for any up-and-coming artist.

Had Ice Spice not taken that opportunity, Swift would have been just fine but the rapper’s career may have suffered. So the rapper took the chance to introduce herself to a new audience – something demanded by the attention economy.

Few Black women have the luxury to extract themselves completely from coworkers who turn a blind eye to the racism of their loved ones.

Everybody who has ever had a job knows that just because Margaret from HR laughs with you about your coworker in accounting on your lunch break, doesn’t mean she believes Black lives matter.

That is part of why Black women are reluctant to build personal relationships with coworkers. We know every professional acquaintance is only one company happy hour or potluck away from a casual n-word drop or a hair touch request.

Ice Spice Is Every Black Woman Who Has Had To Work With A White Woman With A Questionable Partner
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: Ice Spice speaks onstage during the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Cashiers, bank tellers, and retail associates have to work with people whose politics they are unsure of. That is life when you have to work for a living. There is no guarantee that everyone you collect a check with is going to consider others’ disregard for your humanity as a dating deal breaker.

Entertainers are not excluded from this—especially Black women, who are impacted hardest by the pay gap.

Every day Black people show up to work at companies that are turning their back on their 2020 commitments. They know their coworkers have racist mothers, fathers, uncles, friends, and partners. They also know that their rent is due on the first.

This is not the first time a pop culture icon has been accused of using Ice Spice for clout. When the rapper was invited to spend time with Kim Kardashian and her eldest daughter North West, some voices in the comment section questioned their interest in the rising star due to the many cultural appropriation accusations levied at the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Others suggested that she was picking up the game and felt vindicated when it was revealed that she was in a Skims campaign.

No matter what her motivation, being seen with them publicly is part of her job – turning clicks, swipes, and streams into dollars and coins.

The journey from sharing a chopped cheese to climbing the steps of a Met Gala is not an uncomplicated one, and sometimes it means working in tandem with the same kind of controversial people you’re dodging in your Slack chat.

*Additional reporting by Rivéa Ruff


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