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Who Is Ice Spice? Find Out Why Gen Z is Falling In Love with this Bronx-Based Rapper

by Emily Lauletta

If you’ve been on TikTok in the past month, you may have seen a rapper by the name of Ice Spice—and if you haven’t, you might be surprised to discover that she currently has a top 10 single on the Billboard charts. But whether you’re already a fan or just a fan-to-be, the question is the same: who is this charmingly talented red-head?

Isis Gaston, known now by millions as Ice Spice, is a 23-year-old rapper from the Bronx who has won over mass audiences with iconic trap singles and her signature pose. (The rising star is  often photographed with her hands on her chest and tongue over her top lip). Her stage name has the most Gen Z origin story imaginable: It was the name she used for her “Finsta” account. (A separate Instagram account many younger users create to post things they wouldn’t deem cool enough or professional enough for their main accounts.)

While Ice Spice has been putting out music since 2021 (her first single being “Bully Freestyle,”) many first heard of her either from her viral TikTok of Erika Banks’ “Buss It” challenge, where participants changed from a “boring” outfit into a more dressed-up outfit over Banks’ song or when rapper/pop-star (and friend of hers) Lil Nas X dressed up as her for Halloween this past October. However, Spice is much more than just an internet trend, and her hit singles such as “Bikini Bottom” and “Munch” prove that the starlet is here to stay.



The former SUNY student released her first EP “Like..?” in January, and since then, Ice Spice’s career has been on an upward trajectory, as the rapper continues to gain more and more Munchkins (the name Spice lovingly bestowed onto her fans) each day. This week she received her first Billboard top ten single, “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” with collaborator and alt-pop icon PinkPantheress. While “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” debuted at number 14, it quickly climbed to the number four spot on Billboard’s Global chart.


Music is not the only place Spice has shined, as Ice Spice has quickly become a key figure in the fashion industry, repping brands such as Michael Kors and scoring a collab with Beyoncé’s clothing line, Ivy Park. Ice Spice also has a signature sense of humor that makes her all the more relatable. She recently clapped back at someone making fun of her outfit by replying with “u wouldn’t get it.” Men never do, *eye roll*. Another hilarious tweet of hers was, “i be liking shit by accident kms”, in which she proved that she really is just like us!  


So why does Ice Spice resonate so well with Gen Z audiences? For starters, she has a charisma and magnetism that sets her apart from other rising stars. Not only did she write an amazing rap over a tune that was inspired by SpongeBob (the cartoon that laid the foundation for the generation’s sense of humor), but she’s also not afraid to be completely authentic and true to herself. As she stated in a recent video for Genius, “Everybody was trying to be like, “oh, she a one-hit wonder da da da, but it’s’ like, now what? Two-hit wonder? Like, the fuck?” Couldn’t have said it better myself.”

While her lyrics are of course smart and witty, they’re also just fun. In “Munch,” Spice raps, “Sayin’ you love me, but what do you mean?/ Pretty as fuck and he like that I’m mean.”

Baddest bitch out, you shittin’ me?/ If you ain’t a baddie, can’t sit with mе.” For a generation that has come of age over multiple devastating historical events (a global pandemic, the election of Trump, the list goes on) many Gen Z-ers are ready for some light-hearted entertainment in our playlists.

Ice Spice is continuing the legacy of badass women leading the rap industry. The pop culture icon listened to Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj growing up, and is a fierce supporter of women having a large presence in the rap world. In a recent interview with Vogue, Spice stated, “I’d rather there be more girls [in the industry], I feel like there’s so much more men rapping than girls, and I think it should be balanced.”

Honestly, Heaven Haile at Pitchfork couldn’t have put it better, “At a time when everyone is clamoring for the titles of queen and king of rap, a young, often queer, and chronically online community hungry for ’90s cultural nostalgia has dubbed Ice Spice “this generation’s Princess Diana.” In other words, she’s America’s sweetheart at the moment. Though, we have no doubt that Spice will move from princess status to queen status in no time.

Top Photo: Screen grab from “Munch (Feelin’ U)” from WORLDSTARHIPHOP on YouTube

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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