In the mood to listen to Ice Spice, like… ?

Haley Nguyen, Staff Writer

Straight from the birthplace of hip-hop, viral Bronx-based rapper Ice Spice takes the Internet by storm with her first EP, “Like..?”, released Jan. 20. The debut mini-album brings Ice Spice’s fresh sound to New York drill, embellished with characteristic sharp hi-hats and booming 808s, while invigorated with the pop culture princess’s girly charm.

“Like..?” capitalizes on what Ice Spice does best: developing her signature sound through drill pop beats and irresistible lyrical hooks. After overnight success on TikTok from a snippet of her song, “Munch (Feelin’ U),” millions became captivated by her witty wordplay and tone. Addictive and innovative phrases like “munch” and “smoochie” hallmark her music and quickly become staples in modern slang. Paired with Ice Spice’s magnetic and unwavering flow, each of her songs are forces to be reckoned with.

Throughout the EP, there’s a distinctive air of sassy, girlish, and unabashed self-assurance that Ice Spice sells perfectly with genuineness. Her easygoing demeanor and flow, reminiscent of a casual pep talk, combine chill and confidence that draws listeners in. In “In Ha Mood,” Ice Spice raps, “She a baddie, she know she a 10 / She a baddie with her baddie friend,” and she continues to uplift herself with poise in “Princess Diana” with “They be chattin’, I don’t give a damn / And I’m still gettin’ money, I know who I am.” Emerging from the crowd of countless up-and-coming rappers, Ice Spice shines with a natural sense of individuality and comfort with herself that is uniquely hers.

Creative samples also bolster Ice Spice’s music, characterized by hard-hitting trap beats subtly influenced by electronic club music. Upon closer listen, familiar tunes are pitched both up and down and sped up to lend the samples a bright and snappy tone. A funky Digimon bassline supports the track “Princess Diana” beneath thunderous percussion, while an upbeat Jersey club twist on the previously wistful “Cutting Onions” by Tierra Whack is the basis of “Actin’ a Smoochie.”

Aside from her inventive sampling, though, the EP is so structurally consistent that it falls short. The choruses are indisputably highlights of her songs, due to how well they do in terms of publicity and viral numbers, and she hones in on them in the mini-album that runs just over 13 minutes. This formulaic recipe, dominated by the repetition of choruses and hooks delivered with unchanging flow over the same foundational drill beats, leads to songs with noticeable resemblance to one another.

Even so, each song manages to hold on its own. Ice Spice has nailed down a trademark style in her first mini-album, rapping her way into the hearts of baddies and munches alike. Despite its lack of experimentation, “Like..?” blazes a trail for fun and femininity in drill, making it an excellent gateway into the genre for newfound fans and casual listeners alike.