Congrats to everyone on this list, can’t wait for the cyphers
— ladidai follow @heyhearusout (@ladidaix) June 21, 2023
Why Ice Spice ain’t make XXL freshman?
— TeeJay (@Stahtistics_) June 21, 2023
I’m not gon lie bro Ice Spice not making the XXL Freshman list is crazy
— Kai (@KaiFrm302_) June 21, 2023
why ice spice not a xxl freshman?
— Heraji P. Henson (@zendagoddess) June 21, 2023
It’s hard to deny that the “Princess Diana” rapper had earned the spot; after her song “Munch” went viral on TikTok last year, she skyrocketed to nationwide ubiquity, such that any woman who had curly orange hair was subjected to calls of “Ice Spice!” from passing teens in public.
She was paired up with Drake via AI, collaborated with Nicki Minaj on the remix of the aforementioned “Princess Diana,” pitted against the 2022 it-girl Latto in a made-up beef by fans of Nicki Minaj, and admitted that even she was shell-shocked by her sudden fame. She even collaborated with Taylor Swift, arguably the biggest pop star on the planet. So…
Why Is Ice Spice Not In The XXL Freshman Class For 2023?
It’s hard to say because Ice Spice herself has yet to address the list herself. But prior lists also had fans up in arms, such as in 2020, when Don Toliver did not appear on the list or even in 2009, the list that coined the “Freshman” terminology, when Drake was overlooked. The next year, Nicki Minaj was also left off. In those cases, there were a variety of reasons given by XXL‘s editorial staff. While they just straight-up whiffed on Drake — sorry, Datwon, you know what you did — Nicki deemed herself too big to be established to be considered a “freshman” in hip-hop in 2010.
Likewise, Don Toliver flat-out declined appearing on the 2020 list because he didn’t want to participate in any of the peripheral content, according to XXL Editor-In-Chief Vanessa Satten. He and Nicki are not the only artists to turn down the honor, either. ASAP Rocky, Juice WRLD, Post Malone, and Young Thug all opted out and all wound up being huge stars anyway. Ice Spice may have turned down the cover because she’s already achieved greater publicity than she believes in can bring or to give that opportunity to artists who may “need” it more, or perhaps she’s just too busy to carve out the time needed for the photo shoot, freestyle, cypher, and tour that accompany it these days.
Either way, she seems to be doing alright without it, and will likely continue to be a star as long as she keeps dropping inescapably catchy songs and getting opportunities like the Barbie soundtrack.