California rapper and style icon Saweetie’s tour outfits are my type ! Insecurities kept Harper from pursuing rap until she decided to stop putting her dreams aside. In July the rapper confirmed her relationship with handsome rapper Quavo after months of speculation from devoted fans.
Diamonté Harper was feeling low when she wrote a song that would change her life. The couple recently collaborated on her single, Emotional, and Saweetie revealed how she came about mixing her business and personal life.
Her mother, Trinidad Valentin, was a video vixen with starring roles in L.L. Cool J and R. Kelly clips. And Zaytoven, the pioneering Bay Area-born producer who launched his career with Gucci Mane, provided another ever-present musical link – he played piano at the church her grandparents pastored. She casually refers to him as her cousin.
Sankara: Stylist Roger Mckenzie is one of my mentors, and June Ambrose is one of his best friends. They styled a lot of videos in the ’90s, and I definitely take huge inspiration from that. The next time Saweetie was on the east coast was for Summer Jam, and she called me for that like two hours before. I mentally grew up in New York, and I made that outfit with the city in mind.
After all, when Saweetie recorded Icy Grl,” she was juggling a bunch of odd jobs,” pinballing from one sketchy Craigslist-rented room to the next – I pushed stuff up against the door when I slept,” she says – and filming 15-second raps in her car to post on Instagram.
It was at a fabled party in 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, a looming apartment block in the Bronx, New York City, where hip-hop was born. Who attended the party depends on who you ask – enough people claim to have been there to fill the building ten times over – but the man responsible is in no question: Kool Herc. On that August evening in 1973, Herc (real name Clive Campbell) span two copies of the same record on a pair of decks, focusing squarely on the ‘break’ – the percussive section of the song, free from vocals. The idea was to repeat the break back and forth between the two records and keep people dancing for longer, but it laid the foundations for the loops and samples that would come to define the hip hop sound. While Campbell never achieved huge commercial success, and was in many ways eclipsed by the two men following him on this list, his place in hip hop fatherdom is immovable.
Most recently, Saweetie dropped ICY in March, seven-song EP that features Quavo and is led by her hit single My Type.” The project also features production credits from the likes of Murda Beatz and NOVA Wav.
The Kehlani-assisted ‘Bae Mix’ fanned the single’s flames this past year, as Saweetie found herself collaborating with other big names like Quavo on his ‘Quavo Huncho’ track ‘Give It To Em’, Dua Lipa on the ‘IDGAF’ remix, David Guetta on ‘I’m That Bitch’, and ‘Up Now’ with fellow Bay Area rapper G-Eazy and London On Da Track. Those are just a few of the Ws Saweetie has racked up on her rise to the top, and she’s really just getting started.
Egotistic, unhinged, inexorable, fervent, genius – Kanye West is nothing if not distinctive. He brought soul samples back to masses with his production, has a love of leftfield fashion, specialises in emotionally vulnerable lyrics and constantly reinvents himself musically. He has shown the world that you can be your own strange self and still be hugely successful, both in terms of critical reception and record sales. With an outrageously long list of production credits to his name, he’s also helped further the careers of so many others (chances are, one of your favourite hip hop songs is produced by Kanye, and you don’t even know it).
Born Diamonte Harper, the emcee – whose aggressive, girls-to-the-front rap has recently blown up in the form of club-smash single My Type” – grew up in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, and is finally getting to where she imagined herself all those years ago.
Who are some of the producers that we should know? Give us a starter list. I mean, first of all, Shizzi, that’s my producer. He did most of my stuff. And we have Kiddominant, that’s my other producer. And we have Speroach, this dude Rexxie, he’s the one that’s doing all the Zanku songs. So he’s going crazy. But I feel like they should bring all these artists out here, get a camp, put ’em all in one room and trust me, they’ll make magic.
A true student of the game, hip-hop runs deep in Saweetie’s blood. As she told VIBE : My father saw that I had a passion for music. His homeboys would come over to play dominoes and he would call me down to rap… He would put me on the spot, and that kind of helped me come out of my shell.” This was Rapper Training 101, and it has surely paid off. With a background in poetry, Saweetie understands how to properly craft bars that stick and her delivery has an underlying rasp that makes her voice easy to single out.
This in spite of some provocative and sexually explicit lyrics that are at the same time empowering and brow-raising. As the hook delivers in an almost double-dutch beat: Rich n-, eight-figure, that’s my type!” The chorus became a TikTok call to action, then climbed into the Top 10 at the Urban format and now sees momentum building at Top 40. Boosting My Type” mid-run was a standout remix with Jhene Aiko and City Girls, bridging the gap between R&B and hip-hop. And adding to Saweetie’s own public profile, she recently hosted a show at New York Fashion Week to debut her new collection, PrettyLittleThing Accompanied by performances from Lil Kim and Ashanti , it served as another testament to Saweetie’s old school R&B roots.
Eminem wasn’t just the best-selling rapper of the 2000s – he was the best selling musician, full stop. He, maybe more than any other rapper, has proven how hip hop can dominate the popular sphere, both commercially and culturally. In terms of sound there aren’t many that resemble Marshall Mathers. Through his piercing flow and often uncomfortable subject matter, however, he gave a voice to the dark weirdness that permeates so much of American culture – as well as the bombastic silliness – and paved the way for future generations to do likewise.
What are your thoughts about seeing really large artists pay so much homage to the afrobeats sound? I mean some people find it offensive, but I actually don’t. I mean, first of all, people in Africa do hip-hop, right? So you can’t come and say these people are taking our sound when we have artists back home doing trap, doing all these things. I feel that everybody should feel free to do what they want to do, but maybe it won’t hurt to evolve. Like, I feel like it was nice how Swae Lee had Tekno produce that record for him and Drake, stuff like that. And they have more of our producers more involved in the sound because those are the ones who really know how to get the sound. Yeah, I think the producer side needs more shine but apart from that, doing afrobeats is for everybody. Any artist is free to do any kind of music they want.
Another of gangsta rap’s fiercest proponents, Ice Cube was unconcerned by becoming a role model, and made his version of hip hop into a grim reflection of the racial and political tensions in America. He was abrasive and violent in his music, with lyrics and sounds that were harder than anything that had come before it. His work in NWA, as well as his following solo albums in the early 90s, showed just how fearsome a force hip hop could be. He also paved a way for multidisciplinary rappers, with his commercially, albeit not always critically successful film career.
Those artists come from the places I come from,” he said of the ban. In instances like this, you have to separate the art from the incident. Clearly these artists come from different pasts—they talk about it in their music. But the point of the music is to transition out of that.” Many of the artists like Cassanova and Don Q spoke out against the NYPD’s influence in the festival.
Since breaking out in 2017 with her viral video for ICY GRL ” and High Maintenance ,” The Bay Area native has steadily made a name for herself because of hard work and a number of singles that have grown her following. Most recently, things have paid off as she makes her Billboard Hot 100 with her hit single My Type ,” which is currently at No. 47 and climbing. For Saweetie, consistency is her weapon to achieve success.
Harper’s age — 24 — places her among a generation that came of age as social media and streaming services disrupted traditional gatekeepers like radio, something she would later lean on when it was time for her to put out her own music.
Unexpectedly, and despite the confidence she radiates in her songs, Saweetie is pretty reserved in person, and it takes a while to get her to open up. When she does, the motives behind her whole career become clearer. She’s so inspired by her family and doesn’t take anything for granted. She wants to look after them the way they looked after her, and stays humble because of it, no matter how many business ventures or hit songs she racks up.
The 26-year-old emcee, who describes her style as “forever changing” and has long looked up to Lil Kim’s fearless approach to fashion, told THR that she was particularly thrilled to “come up with something special” for Thursday night’s event with Sankara Xasha Ture McCain, one of two stylists with whom she works. While Saweetie considers McCain the “queen of customs,” her go-to guy for high fashion is Bryon Javar. Javar helped the young artist map out the remaining looks for her third fashion week season, which included Friday stops at Moschino’s show and the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party. Saweetie also plans to sit front row for The Blonds and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty line, in addition to launching her own 50-item capsule collection with online retailer PrettyLittleThing on Monday.
Dr Dre helped to transform the face of hip hop into the snarling, public-worrying glare of gangsta rap. His production pioneered G-funk, the sun-drenched, George Clinton-adoring sound that ruled the West Coast in Nineties. He was behind some of the best-loved beats of the era – Gin and Juice by Snoop Dogg, Tupac’s California Love, Eminem’s breakthrough single, My Name Is, and so many more – and has helped to launch the careers of some of today’s biggest artists (not least by putting Compton on the hip hop map). He also showed the scene how to be truly business savvy, co-owning Death Row Records founding Aftermath Entertainment and of course nurturing his Beats headphones business into the billion-dollar behemoth it is today.
Saweetie went on to release a few more short rap videos, which also went viral on Instagram and Twitter. She then landed a deal to appear in an ad for Rihanna’s cosmetic company, Fenty Beauty. The very same month, she signed to Warner Bros. Records.
There’s a blown-out menace to 23” that masquerades its true intention as the most emotionally available cut on High Maintenance. The lilt of her flow is classic Bay Area, but the stuttering and syrupy soundscapes have a Houston touch, alluding to Saweetie’s potential to break far beyond the Bay.
She grew up in Hayward, California, but spent most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area. She moved several more times to finish school. After attending Monterey Trail High School, she graduated from the University of Southern California, where she majored in Business and Communications.