Or, room to grow
I saw Ice Spice’s musical guest spot on the opening episode of the new season of SNL, and, contrary to what seems to be popular consensus, I don’t think the problem is her.
Let me say right off that, concerning Gen Z music, I am thus far a bigger fan of the rappers and hip-hop artists than of the pops. Something about the production and the lyrics and the vocal styles and the samples just hits different. Doechii is a big one.
My favorite work of Ice Spice’s to date is “Barbie World,” her collab with Nicki Minaj for the Barbie soundtrack. Recent Genius annotations comment on how her rhymes and layered references have matured even in her short career. That’s the thing: it’s such early days for her that I think it would be premature to count her out for one appearance that might seem lackluster.
I didn’t exactly find her verse on the remix of “Karma” inspired; I think there’s a reason that pairing was unlikely. But, regardless of Taylor’s motives for featuring her, what may have begun as a fake game turned real. To ultimately have an endorsement from Taylor Swift? To then have part two of your SNL performance *introduced* by Taylor Swift? People who have been going on about the Eras Tour ought to think twice before completely dismissing this girl.
Was it the highest-energy guest spot ever? No. Between the writers’ strike delaying this and all episodes (Pete Davidson was due to have hosted back in May), the fact that she was not originally slotted for musical guest on his episode, and the disorientation she must be experiencing becoming so suddenly visible, I rather think she can be forgiven. Maybe it was a manifestation of nerves. I’d be nervous.
The issue for me was the material. The two numbers she performed aren’t her best, but the quality of her catalogue (which then contributes to her stage presence) will evolve too. All this to say I’ll be continuing to follow her, because I think she is poised for greatness.
Meanwhile, let women be in music.
Image: Will Heath via Billboard