Ice Spice’s debut album ‘Y2K’ is already stirring up controversy, and it’s not even out yet. Unveiled on June 5, the album cover features the Bronx rapper showing off her derrière in front of a graffiti-covered wall. The scene is peppered with nods to her New York City roots, including a custom subway sign, a MetroCard, and a trash can emblazoned with the album’s title.

Social media quickly erupted with criticism. One fan didn’t hold back, saying, ‘Y2K could’ve been a futuristic take. Like how did we miss it. This looks like ghetto sesame street.’ Another remarked, ‘Maybe putting the title on the trash can wasn’t the best idea…’ A graphic designer chimed in, adding, ‘Nah, this is actually making my graphic designer brain hurt so much, the signature is placed so badly and that blend mode choice? LMAO.’

Another user took a broader view, stating, ‘I’m sorry, it’s way too important of a time for women in hip-hop (probably *the most important time* in the history of the culture) to go out sad when it comes time for album cover art,’ lumping Ice Spice’s cover with Megan Thee Stallion’s upcoming release. Notably, the cover art for both albums was photographed by the renowned David LaChapelle.

Despite the backlash, Ice Spice is moving full steam ahead. Alongside the album release on July 26, she’s set to embark on a world tour. Starting in early July in Denmark, the 24-date tour will take her across Europe before she returns to the U.S. She’ll hit major cities like Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C., wrapping up in Miami in late August. Fellow Bronx native Cash Cobain and her in-house producer and boyfriend RIOTUSA will join her on tour.

Ice Spice has been in album mode for a while, dropping singles like ‘Pretty Girl’ with Rema, ‘Think U the Shit (Fart),’ and ‘Gimmie a Light,’ which samples Sean Paul. She’s also provided some insight into the album’s nostalgic, turn-of-the-millennium theme. In an interview with Zane Lowe earlier this year, she credited her mother as a major influence: ‘Thankfully, I had my mom, so growing up I’d see her really embody the Y2K aesthetic in its truest form. It’s duck nails, it’s a tramp stamp. It’s brown lip liner no matter where you go. So thankfully I had her as my inspo growing up. And of course, just like the internet, you feel me? Just like anyone else.’

With ‘Y2K’ set for a July 26 release and a world tour on the horizon, Ice Spice is not letting criticism deter her. While opinions on the album cover are mixed, her fans eagerly await what she has to offer musically.

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