On May 24, Taylor Swift announced that Ice Spice would be featured on her track “Karma” as part of Swift’s Midnights (Til Dawn Edition) album re-release. Now, creators and even Swifties are questioning the intention behind this seemingly out-of-the-blue collaboration — and whether or not the discourse surrounding Swift’s rumored beau Matty Healy had anything to do with it.
“Um. SO much to tell you. I’m a massive fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch,” Swift wrote on Instagram. “So delighted to say that Karma Featuring the incredible @icespice will be out TOMORROW night at MIDNIGHT ET as a part of the new Midnights (Til Dawn Edition) deluxe album that you can pre-order now at store.taylorswift.com!”
Given that there’s been renewed interest in Matty Healy’s problematic past, which includes a series of allegedly racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and misogynistic comments, along with the glaringly racist comments he made about Ice Spice in February of this year, creators can’t help but wonder if this collaboration was born out of the fact that Swift genuinely believes Spice is “THE ONE to watch” or if she’s simply doing damage control.
It is worth noting, however, that it’s still plausible to believe this collaboration might have come together before Healy’s past behavior gained notoriety. In March this year, Ice Spice, along with her “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” collaborator, Pink Pantheress, presented the song of the year award to Taylor Swift during the iHeartRadio Awards. Per footage from the show, the 23-year-old “Munch” rapper looked delighted to meet Swift.
A content creator who goes by the TikTok username @whomamagonecheckme2 spoke candidly about this “funny” collaboration.
“Mind you, Ice Spice does an interview and said, ‘I love Coldplay. I love The 1975.’ and then afterwards, Matty Healy went on a podcast and made fun of her, saying she’s a ‘chubby Chinese lady’ and making fun of her rapping,” @whomamagonecheckme2 says. “All I can say is, I really don’t be about that life, for real.”
Despite acknowledging that Ice Spice is “making money moves,” @whomamagonecheckme2 fully believes that this is a Taylor Swift “cleanup.”
“I can’t be convinced otherwise…you are who you date,” she adds.
Swifties and creators are sharing their thoughts on the matter in the comment section. For some, the collaboration reads as disingenuous.
“all this says to me is that taylor swift is really seeing this stuff about her and is continuing to say nothing???” @lokkesun replied.
“since it comes out tomorrow, im gonna assume they’ve been working on it for a while (before this whole bs). so idk get ur bag ig,” @u2shutup wrote.
Self-described pop culture enthusiast and Swiftie Brooke G (@brookeg28) also shared her reaction to the collaboration.
“At this point, I’m literally begging Taylor Swift to be serious. Be for real. I don’t want to hear nothing else about Kris Jenner and her children, because yes, Miss Kris works really hard, but Tree Paine clearly works harder, because this is, like, this is unhinged,” Brooke says, referring to Swift’s publicist.
“So you mean to tell me, Taylor Swift, who’s dating someone allegedly who has said the, like, the most crazy, off-the-wall, vile things about Ice Spice and had to apologize for it, is now a huge Ice Spice fan and has her on a remix of one of her songs?” Brooke asks. “I can see if it was Latto. I can see if it was Meg, that would make sense to me, like, I actually know that those two people know each other, but Ice Spice?”
“And then to say all that and be like, ‘Oh, also dropping a new version of Midnights. See you soon,’ Girl,” Brooke continues. “The capitalist queen is gonna capitalist queen.”
Other TikTok users are noting how odd but deliberate of a choice this seems to be for Swift. Rather than denouncing racism and Healy’s remarks, it seems as if she’s attempting to distract from it.
“‘Indifference to bigotry is akin to defending it.’ It’s so weird. Instead of leaving him to prove she stands against racism, she’s burying it,” @danni_swift13 wrote.
“I mean, isn’t it a good thing she is platforming and promoting an independent Black female artist but specifically not saying anything about Matty?” @excusemeamber asked.
Some Swifties, though, are arguing that the collaboration, based on the artwork and alleged accompanying music video, had been in the works long before the Healy backlash came to a head — which Brooke has also responded to.
One Swiftie who goes by the TikTok username @teagan14_02 reminded creators that recording a full song just days prior to its release is something Swift’s proven she can do. Case in point? Swift’s 2019 holiday track “Christmas Tree Farm,” which was recorded on Dec. 1, 2019. The song was released five days later, on Dec. 6.
“girlie wrote, recorded and released X-mas tree farm (w a MV) within FOUR DAYS. she has the $$ to record a last min remix if she wanted to distract us,” @teagan14_02 also commented on Brooke’s video.
TikTok isn’t the only place where creators are sounding off. Not long after news broke of the collaboration, Twitter, unsurprisingly, was saturated with memes and gifs posted by users who are suspicious of Swift’s intentions.
i feel like she brought ice spice on to distract us this woman thinks im stupid pic.twitter.com/Fjv2stZWxl— cay (@koralinadean) May 24, 2023
Taylor Swift trying to distract from the Matty Healy rumors by collabing with Ice Spice: pic.twitter.com/najKGcAsko— Shawn Ellwood (@shawnathon54) May 24, 2023
Using Ice Spice for a remix to clear your image after all the racist shit your her nazi boyfriend Matty Healy said about her is a new low even for Taylor Swift https://t.co/D0qGaKAEyr— MK8≛ MOTOPAPI (@FdezzGarciiia) May 24, 2023
Very interesting to see Taylor Swift announce a collaboration with Ice Spice as if her boyfriend, Matty Healy, didn’t just mock her appearance calling her a “chubby Chinese lady”— A. (@ScandalousMedia) May 24, 2023
Grab whoever can gain the clout but still associate with horrible people, huh? pic.twitter.com/nXlaBLqGic
Representatives for Ice Spice did not respond to a request for comment from In The Know by Yahoo. A rep for Taylor Swift declined to comment.
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