Ice Spice’s “Munch (Feelin’ U),” the Bronx-born MC’s biggest hit so far and the song that has soundtracked an unknowable variety of after-school hangs, almost wasn’t. “The song was really a throwaway for me,” Spice told Apple Music’s Ebro. “I made it, and I used to be like, ‘All right, let me put that away.’ And the people I used to be playing it for—I played it for a bunch of individuals, and [they] was identical to, ‘Oh. OK, cool.’” However the song was to not be denied.
By the point “Munch (Feelin’ U)” hit streaming platforms in August 2022, Ice had amassed a legion of local fans eagerly awaiting its release, having heard a snippet she’d uploaded to socials earlier that summer. Once the phrase “You thought I used to be feelin’ you?” made it to TikTok, the remainder was history. Or as Spice herself puts it on January’s Like..? EP, “Within the hood, I’m like Princess Diana.”
Twenty-three-year-old Ice Spice was born Isis Gaston and got an early start at rapping. “I had little raps and shit since I used to be a child,” she says. “I never made full songs, though.” She began recording properly in 2021, with things really revving up after meeting producer and frequent collaborator RIOTUSA while in college at SUNY Purchase. Though her popularity rose fast, her first and certain most significant fan was her father, an MC in his own right who, Spice says, used to run with DJ Doo Wop within the early 2000s. “Within the crib or on the solution to school and the whole lot, he can be on some, ‘Let me hear something’ and all the time attempting to film me, pushing me to do something,” she says. “Or if I’d tell him about girls that I didn’t really fuck with at school, he can be like, ‘Write a rap about them.’”
He likely couldn’t be prouder of his little star upon the discharge of Like..?, a six-track EP that was, at its arrival, already 50 percent hits. “Munch (Feelin’ U)” is, in fact, here, as are the immediately viral “Bikini Bottom” and “In Ha Mood.” Add to those the NYC drill-expressive “Princess Diana,” the P. Diddy “I Need a Girl, Pt. 2”-sampling “Gangsta Boo,” and the Jersey club-indebted “Actin a Smoochie,” and also you’ve got an image of a young talent who’s just getting warmed up. “Those are six songs that I already made,” Spice says of Like..?. “Fans going to eat that up. After which there’s all the time time to evolve and grow as an artist. So, I’m not rushing to leap into one other sound or rushing to do some different shit. If it happens, it happens. I just want the whole lot to be natural.”