Taylor Swift teams up with Ice Spice for a remix of Midnight track Karma

Attention, Swifties! A new Taylor Swift collaboration just landed – the singer has linked up with rising rapper Ice Spice for an alternative remix version of her 2022 track Karma, for her Midnights remix album Midnights (Til Dawn Edition).

“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 May 25, announcing the new Karma remix.

One of music’s breakthrough stars, Bronx rapper Ice Spice first rose to prominence in 2022 with her viral track Munch (Feelin’ U), and has since collaborated with PinkPantheress and Nicki Minaj. Karma marks Swift’s first collaboration with a rapper since Future appeared on her 2017 album, Reputation.

Though broadly similar to the original iteration of the song, which appeared towards the end of Swift’s 2022 album Midnights, Karma’s new remix now opens and closes with extra ad-libs from Ice Spice and features a brand new rap verse. “Karma is your chеck’s ‘boutta bounce, karma is the fire in your house,” Ice Spice raps, “and she ‘boutta pop up unannounced”. She also peppers the song with occasional new interjections. “Karma takes all my friends to the summit,” Swift sings. “Facts!” agrees Ice Spice.

Ice Spice’s contributions fit in well here; whether her guest spot adds much additional nuance to Swift’s song about universal consequences coming back to bite wrong-doers is another question entirely. Taken entirely at face value the answer is: probably not – Ice Spice’s verse is snappy enough, if slightly lacklustre lyrically.

Ice Spice’s mere presence in the first place is interesting for another reason, however. Some fans have pointed out that the timing of the collaboration feels… curious, given that it comes just a few weeks after Swift was rumoured to be dating The 1975’s Matty Healy.

Last month, Healy appeared on The Adam Friedland Show – a podcast which describes itself as “a centre-left talk show that is not afraid to shy away from controversy” – and was widely criticised for laughing along as hosts Friedland and Nick Mullen made derogatory comments about Ice Spice’s body, mocked a variety of accents, and speculated about her ethnicity. “Yeah, that’s what Ice Spice is like,” Healy joked in response. The episode has been removed from Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

He’s since addressed the podcast appearance, claiming during an Auckland gig that his “joking got misconstrued”.

“I just feel a bit bad, and I’m kind of a bit sorry if I’ve offended you,” he said, during their New Zealand live show on April 21. “Ice Spice, I’m sorry. It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m a dick. I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry.”

“I make a joke out of everything. That’s my thing,” he later added. “And I can take it too far sometimes in front of too many people. And I feel a bit embarrassed. So that’s the truth.”

And all of this unfortunately lends Karma the air of a piece of damage control; even if it does stem from a genuine creative connection, it’s difficult to look past how convenient it feels.

Elsewhere, Swift has teamed up for a second time with Lana Del Rey, for a new version of their Midnights collab Snow on the Beach. Originally, fans questioned why Del Rey’s vocals felt so low in the mix. “You asked for it, we listened,” Swift wrote; and the pair have now regrouped for the handily-named remix Snow on the Beach (ft. More Lana Del Rey).