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Meaning of the ‘Butterfly Ku’ by ‘Ice Spice’

Released: 2023

“Butterfly Ku” by Ice Spice is an anthem of self-confidence and assertiveness, showcasing the rapper’s rise to the top amid haters and doubters. The song is laced with rich hip-hop symbology and layered narratives that draw attention to the artist’s strength, resilience, and unabashed ownership of her narrative.

The song begins with a repeated stanza about a “baddie with a butterfly tat'” – a woman who’s bold and owns her attractiveness, epitomized by her provocative butterfly tattoo. The reference to “jatt'” is a slang term originated from Punjabi culture, indicating a person of high societal status, usually associated with wealth or power. Thus, the “baddie with a jatt'” symbolizes a woman who not only embraces her beauty but also her societal stature. When Ice Spice instructs the audience to “move back”, she’s expressing her demand for space, respect, and acknowledgment of her status.

The line “Walk through and they start goin’ ku” uses colloquial language to describe the reaction when she enters the room – “go ku” meaning people going crazy or wild in response to her presence. The next few lines underscore her rise to fame and the inability of her detractors to deny her success. Ice Spice flaunts her wealth with a “house sittin’ up on my neck,” signifying expensive jewelry, and “Richard Millie, like fuck a Patek,” indicates her preference for the uber-luxurious Richard Mille watches over the also high-end Patek Philippe brand. She highlights that she’s not just in “some fly shit”, meaning she’s not just dressed impressively; she’s in a league of her own.

The line “First they was hatin’, now they on my body” perfectly encapsulates Ice Spice’s journey. Initially, she faced criticism and hate, but now those same haters are attracted to her success. The slang “on my body” implies that they’re now attempting to associate with her, drawn to her success. When she says “Cuffin’ no thottie”, she’s declaring she’s not about to be tied down by anyone who’s not on her level – ‘thottie’ being slang for a woman who seeks attention from multiple men.

“Butterfly Ku” is a triumphant narrative of Ice Spice’s ascent in the hip-hop world, where she’s defied the odds, flained her success, and celebrated her individuality. Consistent with the tone of the song, Ice Spice remains unapologetically herself, directly challenging anyone who doesn’t respect her grind.

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