2023 has been the year of Ice Spice, from the release of Like…?, her debut EP, to the international success of “Boy’s a Liar, Pt. 2” (featuring Pinkpantheress). She has amassed a devoted following on TikTok who have called her the “Princess Diana of Gen Z” because to her easygoing charm and aptitude for catchy pop-drill tunes. Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj have collaborated on a remix of “Princess Diana” in a move that is equal parts coronation and business strategy.
This fresh rendition of “Princess Diana” sees Nicki appointing Ice Spice as the Princess of Rap while taking on the role of a street-fighting instructor, complete with a brand-new verse from the “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” rapper. By shouting “Heavy On It,” the Queens rapper declares her participation in the remix, turning the track from an ordinary remix into the first release of Nicki Minaj’s new record label, Heavy On It Records, with whom Ice Spice is now associated. She ends her introduction by giving the customary New York salute (“New York, stand the fuck up!”) before mentioning Ice Spice and lowering her voice a few octaves to yell “finish ’em” in a voice reminiscent of a Mortal Kombat voiceover. From there, the original version of “Princess Diana” is substantially preserved. But “Princess Diana” transforms into one of Nicki’s best guest lines in recent memory as her ad-libs return in the chorus.
The rapper from “Do We Have A Problem” raps, “Nowadays, I be makin’ ’em famous / She the princess, so fuck who you lames is.” She reiterates the significance of her endorsement while also appointing Ice Spice as her Queen and giving her the title of Princess. The song’s general Princess Diana metaphor (“They burned they London Bridges / none of them bitches British”) and the gaming metaphor that grounds her sensei-like character (“Of course, I be pushin’ they buttons / I hold the control like the gamers”) are both well-rounded by this strong verse.
In fact, Nicki’s performance on this verse serves as a reminder of just how talented she is, from the precision of her diction to her capacity to add various hues and layers to her words by rapping in various vocal registers. Sadly, this creates a dynamic that shows how much Ice Spice still needs to improve as an emcee. The two rappers’ somewhat odd pairing, though, is one of the year’s best duets because of their shared devil-may-care attitude. Nicki also emphasizes how indisputable the song’s earworm chorus is by offering her own spin on it.
“Princess Diana (Remix)” is a fantastic song, which only serves to highlight its politics and potential repercussions as one of the most intriguing and significant collaborations of the year thus far.