Taylor Swift is Collabbing With Ice Spice, and Everyone is Giving Her the Side-Eye

by Faith Green

The Internet is abuzz with criticisms regarding Taylor Swift after she announced that she’ll be collaborating with Ice Spice on her hit single “Karma” which premiered this Friday, May, 26th. The revamped version of the song, which now features the up and coming rapper, is one of three new tracks included on the deluxe edition of Swift’s most recent studio album, Midnights.

Swift made the announcement on her official Twitter page on May, 24th. In just over 24 hours, the post had nearly 60 million views. This is one of the many recent developments for Swift, who is currently on the road for massively popular eras tour, and planning to release a re-recorded version of her earlier album Speak Now on June 7th. But there’s a huge elephant in the room; Taylor Swift’s alleged new beau, Matt Healy has had a nasty track record of problematic offenses, including a situation regarding some disparaging things said about Ice Spice. And many are starting to speculate that Swift’s cacophonous collaboration with the rapper is a performative attempt at damage control.

Matt Healy is the lead singer for the popular indie group The 1975. If you were on Tumblr circa 2014, then you’re probably familiar with the band, as they were a pinnacle in the soft grunge/post-hipster aesthetic that was popular at the time. And now many are speculating that he and Swift are an item. Although the two haven’t outright confirmed their relationship, both have made appearances on each other’s tours, with Taylor appearing onstage at the 1975’s UK tour this January.

But Healy has been in hot water for numerous problematic comments over the years, and his podcast appearance on the Adam Friedland Show this past January definitely didn’t do any favors for his already questionable public image. The contents of the episode became the subject of some murky controversy that is only now reentering the pop culture stratosphere as a result of Swift’s collaboration with the Ice Spice as well as Swift’s budding potential relationship with Healy.

The remarks made were so offensive, that both Apple and Spotify pulled the episode from their platforms. When discussing Healy’s attempt to “slide into the DMs” of rapper Ice Spice, hosts Adam and Nick stated that she “sounded like a chubby Chinese lady” and an “Inuit Spice Girl.” whilst simultaneously mocking Asian accents.

Healy even made a half-hearted public apology to the rapper earlier this year while on stage performing with the 1975 for their tour, where he stated that he was “kind of a bit sorry if i offended you”.

The Internet has been clamoring over the podcast appearance for months, but could the controversy merely be a result of misinformation? The comments are undoubtedly explicitly racist. All members of the podcast, ironically are not, are punching down; using their platform to spread derogatory remarks about people of color. That being said, there’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding not only what was said, but who said it. When listening to the episode (which is still available on Youtube), it’s apparent that the tasteless and racially motivated comments regarding Ice Spice weren’t actually made by Healy. Although he did find it humorous — and enthusiastically participated in the conversation — the most offensive parts of the show were spearheaded by the hosts, Nick Mullen and Adam Friedland. The hosts of the show thrive on the use of “ironic offensiveness,” which many have argued contributes to the same problematic behaviors they are aiming to criticize.

It’s also pretty par for the course. The Adam Friedland Show thrives off of its association with the “dirtbag left” socio-political movement. People have criticized the show extensively; there are even petitions to get the show removed. It’s full of vapid lowbrow half-attempts at sophomoric comedy, which is unsurprising, considering the fact that the show was originally called “C**Town”. The most liked comment on the episode featuring Matt Healy reads: “This is one of the tamest episodes of [this podcast].” which is saying quite a lot, since the episode also contained references to Japanese concentration camps and hardcore torture porn (which Healy admitted to watching, and describes the girls as “getting absolutely brutalized”). As a result, many people are questioning Healy’s association with the podcast, and ergo, Swift’s association with Healy. And in light of this new, seemingly random collaboration with Ice Spice many are starting to re-evaluate the authenticity of Swift’s activism, since she’s never once collaborated with a woman of color.

Although there is merit to the level of cultural insensitivity and brash vulgarity displayed by both parties, to vilify Healy, and thus Swift for this would be misguided. It would be much more apt to do so for the problematic things Healy has actually said, because this certainly isn’t the first time he’s been under fire for his offensive comments. In 2019, he faced an outpour of backlash for the islamophobic and anti-theistic rhetoric he voiced in an interview for Brut, where he states: “You can’t criticize Islam as a set of ideas… because you’re inherently criticizing people. But that’s a problem with society because Islamophobia does exist, people are bigoted. But what that really is is thick, bigoted people not liking brown people. Whereas I love people, I love brown people. I just don’t know when I’m allowed to be offended. Religious people are always allowed to be offended…”

Although it’s not Swift’s responsibility to account for a man’s disparaging comments, many are still dubious about what this could all mean for her fanbase. Many Swifties are finding it hard to believe that Swift is associating with Healy at all, much less dating him. Others are speculating that Swift is using Ice Spice for what might be a transparent attempt at damage control. Regardless of if it’s a PR stunt or not, the unexpected collaboration is on everyone’s mind.

And since this Ice Spice-Taylor Swift collab has only been out for a day, it’ll be interesting to see how this Healy-Spice-Swift drama will all unfold.

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

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.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.