After taking the industry by surprise in the second half of 2022, Bronx Rapper Ice Spice has finally come through with her Debut EP, which also doubles as her first label release. Announcing the tape via Instagram post in the middle of the day, it’s safe to say we were all excited to hear what she was coming with. Now that it’s out, let’s take a quick dive into “Like..?”
At just over 13 minutes long, the 6 track EP includes three tracks that are already well-established with her fanbase and casual music consumers alike. “Munch (Feelin U),” was played anywhere and everywhere after its debut late last summer. Although it’s barely a minute-and-a-half long, Ice Spice delivers a flurry of tight bars and a hook that is undeniably catchy. With the track being her most familiar, it’s fitting that it’s been chosen as the closing track to the project. On the flip side, the project opens with the recent single, “In Ha Mood.” Another track of hers went viral on Tik Tok and found her lyrics used as countless Instagram captions. Produced by longtime collaborator RIOTUSA, it’s a boppy drill track where Ice Spice boasts with a rejuvenated confidence that comes from proving her critics wrong. “Bikini Bottom,” is also featured on the project, the “Munch,” follow-up that helped solidify her abilities outside of the viral space. With a melody reminiscent of the background music you would hear in SpongeBob (hence the name), it remains one of the shorter tracks on the project.
Something I feel is important to note, is that the new releases on this project are some of Ice Spice’s longest tracks yet. Prior to “In Ha Mood,” she only had one song (on DSP’s) that was over 2 minutes, 2021’s “Bully Freestyle”. With label support behind her, it seems like they may have been pushing for longer tracks. This doesn’t work to Ice Spice’s detriment, but rather to her benefit. “Princess Diana,” one of the standout new tracks, is only 2 minutes and thirty-four seconds long. The lengthier track allows the instrumental to breathe and even take a few different switches and musical directions, a depth that hasn’t been seen in previous releases. Her bars likening herself to a hood Princess Diana come off livelier and more entertaining with the malleable sound underneath them.
“Gangsta Boo” features fellow Bronx native Lil Tjay. Ice Spice takes the perspective of a girl who has fallen for a man who is heavily involved in street life. The danger that comes with his lifestyle is, ironically, what attracts her to him in the first place, as he’s a switch-up from her current man. Lil Tjay steps in as the titular “Gangsta Boo,” but his vocal mix muddies the lyrical performance he gives. It sounds like he’s far away from the mic, or recorded his verse in a room with an echo that was altered during mixing and mastering. In a moment I can best liken to Nav’s vocals on “Yosemite,” when “AstroWorld” first dropped, I do hope that these vocals receive the remaster treatment as the song is otherwise worth listening to. “Actin A Smoochie,” is another high point on the project because of its use of the Jersey Club sound. Every track thus far has been a Drill track with Ice Spice/s signature Sexy/Chill style. On “Actin A Smoochie,” though, she embraces the Jersey sound entirely while openly admitting to being a smoochie for the dude she used to be interested in. The song has a fun tone to it, like most other Jersey Club tracks, with bars where she goes back and forth between entertaining the dude she’s talking about and proclaiming she doesn’t need him. It’s a dichotomy that fits the overall placement of the record on the project as well.
Now that her debut EP is out, Ice Spice continues to show off her abilities as a writer and a rapper. She is able to maintain her chill flow while riding the different Drill/Cub beats that comprise the project. Seeing Ice Spice continue to rise above the critics has been incredibly satisfying so far, as she has stomped out the one-hit-wonder allegations with several solid tracks. The three new tracks are a great addition to her expanding catalog, despite any technical issues I might have, and leave me hopeful for the direction she takes with her music in the future. A stellar debut from the Bronx’s Darling, we give “Like..?” 4 stars out of 5!
What did you think? Did it live up to the hype? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.