If you’ve been a Barb, you know that, despite all the action on the female rap playground, Nicki Minaj has not chosen someone to take over her legacy so that she can retire. At least, it seems, until now, when the rapper hopped on the remix of Ice Spice’s “Princess Diana.” Ice Spice is a New York rapper who began her music career in 2021 with the release of singles “Bully Freestyle” and “No Clarity”.
In 2022, Ice was signed to 10K Projects and released a string of singles. Her first studio EP, Like…?, finally dropped on January 20, 2023. The rapper has been making waves by performing at events such as 2023’s Rolling Loud Festival, bringing a level of showmanship that most freshman performers do not already have under their belt. I personally love Ice Spice’s sweet and genuine personality. She brings something to the table that I don’t think we’ve seen… possibly since Pink Friday dropped in 2010. Despite the fact that the rapper is hard “AF” and a baddie to boot, she seems easy to talk to and very down to earth (not unlike our favorite female rapper.)
Blessing Mukosha recently did a deep dive podcast episode on the exciting developments surrounding the partnership between the two artists, which is over on our YouTube channel, so today I just want to review the song and the visuals that go with it. The first thing that stood out to me was the single’s artwork. For the first time that I can recall, one of Nicki’s signature looks, the pink bun with chopsticks, is combined with a new artist’s signature look — ie, Spice’s red ‘fro.
Unpacking Princess Diana
The iconic imagery signals to all listeners that this collaboration is special and not one to be ignored. Even to listeners who have no idea. That there was a major deal of some sort that goes hand in hand with this release. The music video for this remix totally serves “slumber party” vibes. As Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj dance around in a luxurious pink bedroom. And in front of a well-lit vanity, sporting similar outfits and even matching hairstyles in some of the shots.
For those who don’t know, the original “Princess Diana” track dropped on January 20, 2023. On Ice Spice’s debut studio EP, Like…?. Produced by RIOTUSA (Ice Spice’s producer), “Princess Diana” is a girl power anthem about being a baddie. The “Princess Diana (Remix)” featuring Nicki Minaj, was also produced by RIOTUSA. Is the first song released by Heavy On It Records, Minaj’s new record label.
Nicki & Ice’s Compatibility
The two rappers really do collaborate on this new track. As they are both on the song’s intro, the middle and last choruses, as well as the bridge. Spice’s smoky vocals blend very nicely with Minaj’s trademark sound to create a dynamic sonic experience. The remix starts with Ice Spice spitting the chorus, just like the original mix of the song. Before getting into the first verse, Ice definitely hits the ground running with:
“Nowadays, I be duckin’ them cameras
And they hype that I’m up on them banners
Callin’ my phone, but they know I don’t answer (Why?)
In the hood, I’m like Princess Diana (Grrah)“
Before getting to Nicki’s addition for the song. The duo team up for the next chorus to deliver these powerful lyrics:
“They be chattin’, I don’t give a damn
And I’m still gettin’ money, I know who I am (Grrah)
Tryna be low, he gon’ hit up my ‘Gram (Grrah)
If he smart, he gon’ act like a fan (Damn)“
To match Spice’s “I be eatin oats” theme, Minaj starts her verse out with:
“I, I, I be eatin’ my spinach (Spinach)
They tried to clone my image (Image)
They burned they London Bridges (Bridges)“
The song has spurred some controversy as Nicki Minaj states that Ice Spice is officially the Princess of rap. Both in her verse and in the song’s outro. The line “nowadays I be makin’ ‘em famous” holds a lot of weight in this instance. Specifically because Spice’s EP Like…? was still under 1,000 streams on Spotify before the collaboration. The rapper shot from 187 to 20th most streamed rapper, proving the power of a Nicki feature.
Further Remix Review
Minaj also takes the time to end the song with “it’s the gag for me”. Implying that she is good to sit back and watch Spice’s career unfold. The quest for the rightful heir of the throne is over at long last. City Girls’ JT took to Twitter to declare that she is not happy with Ice Spice’s new title. As JT had proclaimed herself to be the “princess” on the “Super Freaky Girl (Queen Mix)” released in 2022.
As a dyed-in-the-wool Barb, I personally think JT needs to sit down. Ice Spice called herself “Princess Diana” and Minaj went out of her way to solidify the title. It’s not the same thing as calling yourself the Princess of rap just because you got a Nicki feature. (And as a side note, I also thought the Princess mention on Queen Mix was slightly out of line. Because the point of that track was that they were all Queens.)
“Princess Diana (Remix)” is everything I could have hoped for out of a Nicki Minaj remix. It carries an electric excitement about it that I was not expecting. I have had this song on repeat since it dropped. And I am so happy to have a little light-skinned-baddie representation in the hip-hop industry. With the seal of approval from none other than the Queen of Rap herself.
I am very excited to see where the new Princess of Rap is with her career in 10 years’ time.