The official music video for “Karma (feat. Ice Spice)” was released on May 26, 2023. Taylor Swift is a singer-songwriter that many have heard of. Ice Spice is a new, up-and-coming artist with recent success. A lot of eyes are on Ice Spice – waiting to see if she will make it or break it as a rapper.
The song was released while Swift was facing backlash due to her recent relationship scandal with rumored boyfriend, Matty Healy of The 1975, according to Hot New Hip Hop. Healy has recently participated in racist and misogynistic jokes made about her, according to PAPER.
Swift has an incentive to alleviate the drama while Ice Spice could gain publicity from Swift’s larger stardom. Even if the two truly just wanted to make music together, the media coverage that the song created could boost the growth of their following.
Drill Rap was popularized in Chicago and New York, and is currently popular on Tik Tok. The style consistently faces criticism because of its relation to violence. Late rapper, King Von, is an advocate for the style and spoke continuously about murder and ‘opps’ (oppositions) before his death. Violent themes have caused some listeners to believe that the style is an instigator of violence, according to Music Grotto.
Unfortunately, Hip Hop and Rap culture have gotten bad representation. However, their subject matter can be a form of connection and a way to relate to those who may have similar struggles and experiences.
Drill Rap is also known for its beat production and punchy, gangsta rap lyrics. It is a fun style to listen to. Many love Ice Spice’s spin on drill rap, but “Karma (feat. Ice Spice)” – the song and the video – fell short of the essence of rap as a whole.
Pop and rap artists are known to collaborate, but this pair was unexpected. The video was overwhelming in imagery but underwhelming in uniqueness. The scenes and ideas were all over the place. There are images depicting hell, a record playing, the yellow brick road, all gold figures, cartoonish sequences, giant hourglasses, ropes and space.
What was the creative plan here? It contained a lot, but it wasn’t something we haven’t seen from the music industry or Swift herself.
The video also included some interesting imagery pertaining to evil characteristics. In the first 20 seconds of the video, Swift is seen wearing dark clothing with a devil mask on, standing in hell. Then she blows a kiss to three grim reapers who are holding up the middle finger.
I know people can’t always control what their children watch, but I would say that this video is not appropriate for Swift’s younger audience.
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The video does not align with typical videos that drill rappers produce. The beats and musical production were not in drill fashion. I am not sure if there was any glimpse of the subgenre besides having a drill rapper on the song.
One might say the song had catchy moments and word play, but the two did not sound right together. Ice Spice looks uncomfortable and her drill style did not match the musical mix of the song. This was a pairing we could have gone without.
Miyawni Curtis is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MiyawniCurtis
Miyawni Curtis is a senior reporter at the Daily Lobo and served as the Summer 2023 news editor. She can be contacted on Twitter @MiyawniCurtis