Ice Spice
Hip-Hop

Ice Spice

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Last updated on
October 29, 2023

Born as Isis Naija Gaston on January 1, 2000, in the Bronx, New York City, Ice Spice was raised in the Fordham Road neighborhood. The eldest of five siblings, she grew up in a household where her father, Joseph Gaston, was a former underground rapper of African-American descent, and her mother, Charina Almanzar, of Dominican origin, worked at a car dealership. The couple met at a McDonald's and divorced when Isis was just two years old. Due to her parents' busy schedules, she spent much of her childhood with her grandparents and cousins.

Ice Spice's early education took place in the Bronx, but she later transferred to Sacred Heart High School, a Catholic institution in Yonkers. Her passion for hip-hop ignited at the age of seven, influenced by artists like Lil' Kim and Nicki Minaj. She wrote poetry and freestyle raps throughout her school years, often jotting down lyrics in the Notes app on her iPhone. She attended the State University of New York at Purchase, where she played as a defensive specialist on the school's volleyball team and studied biology. However, she dropped out during her sophomore year, citing a strenuous commute and the institution's lack of fit for her career aspirations.

Ice Spice's professional journey in the music industry began in 2021 when she met American record producer RiotUSA while attending SUNY Purchase. Her debut song, "Bully Freestyle," was released in March 2021 and gained traction after a video of her performing the "Buss It" challenge went viral on Twitter. Her subsequent track, "Name of Love," also garnered attention on SoundCloud, boosting her popularity on Instagram.

The real turning point in her career came in August 2022 with the release of her song "Munch (Feelin' U)," which went viral on TikTok and Twitter. The song received support from Drake and charted on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Bubbling Under Hot 100 charts. She then signed a record deal with 10K Projects and Capitol Records. Her debut EP, "Like..?", was released on January 20, 2023, featuring hit singles like "Munch (Feelin' U)," "Bikini Bottom," and "In Ha Mood."

In 2023, she collaborated with artists like Lil Tjay, PinkPantheress, Nicki Minaj, and Taylor Swift, achieving multiple top-10 singles on the US Billboard Hot 100. She has been honored with the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and the Impact Award from the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards.

Musically, Ice Spice primarily focuses on Bronx drill. She writes all her lyrics, preferring them to be "super simple" and "digestible." Her influences range from Sheff G and Pop Smoke to Lil' Kim, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Foxy Brown, and Remy Ma. She also draws inspiration from artists like Erykah Badu, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Lauryn Hill for their "graceful angelic vibe of timeless beauty."

In her personal life, Ice Spice identifies as bisexual and has relocated to New Jersey for privacy, as her rising fame made her too recognizable in her hometown of the Bronx.

Ice Spice's accolades include nominations for the BET Awards in categories like Best Female Hip Hop Artist and Best New Artist. She won the Best Breakthrough Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Hip-Hop Awards and the Rookie of The Year at Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players.

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