Ice Spice – Pretty Girl (with Rema)

Let’s just admit that 2023 has given us a lot of great collabs, and might I say that half of them involve Ice Spice? You cannot argue that her feature on Taylor Swift’s “Karma” did not add more fire to the song. I mean, “Karma is your check ’bout to bounce.” And then there’s her Barbie collab with Nicki Minaj, but that’s only her second with the global superstar, who she featured on the remix of her hit single, “Princess Diana.” “Boy’s a Liar” with PinkPantheress was another one we couldn’t escape, try as we might.

For her latest single, Ice Spice leaned into the Afro-pop trend by enlisting the talent of one of Afro-pop’s recent major players, Rema, for “Pretty Girl.”

After the usual Ice Spice opener, “Stop playin’ with ’em RIOT,” Rema kicks off the song with the chorus, singing, “Yeah, pretty gyal, me no do no kiss and tell / As long as you treat me well, I will treat you more than gem / Me no send my chain, you are my real flex / Oya, yeah, gimme promise, you ain’t gonna bail on me.”

Ice Spice gets to shine in the first and second verse and the bridge, confidently rapping lines like, “I ain’t been in love in a minute / Don’t know what it was, but you get it (Uh-huh) / Big three words out ya mouth and you meant it,” and “It’s our life, so baby, let’s live it / Haters super mad, we got ’em all livid (All livid, grrah) / Thinkin’ ’bout my future, got you all in it.”

For this single, Ice Spice worked with her longtime producer and collaborator RIOTUSA, who is credited as both a writer and a producer. A day after the song was released, the Bronx rapper made her SNL debut on Saturday, October 14, performing on the show’s first live taping since the end of the writers’ strike. It also served as her debut live performance of “Pretty Girl,” with Rema joining her onstage to sing.

The song’s production combines elements of Afro-pop with twinkling synths and polyrhythmic percussion. I wouldn’t call it catchy exactly, but Ice Spice’s rap in the first verse has yet to leave my brain after two listens.

No doubt this year has been a great one for Ice Spice, who is looking forward to rounding it out by joining Doja Cat on select dates of her “Scarlet Tour.” Rema was also just announced as the co-headliner alongside Kendrick Lamar for the second night of the Hey Neighbour Festival in Pretoria, South Africa, which takes place December 8-10.