California rapper and style icon Saweetie’s tour outfits are my type ! Icy Girl” has blossomed into way more than just a catchy phrase for Saweetie The Bay Area rapper took the lyrics from her viral 2017 debut single and flipped it into a mantra that has seeped into her personality, business deals and everyday fashion. Saweetie’s passion for unique looks shimmers just as vibrantly as her love for music, as she rocks outfits that embody her Icy Girl” spirit: provocative, confident, independent and totally badass.
High Maintenance is the title of Californian rapper Saweetie’s first EP. She looks it, with her floor-length pink leather coat, Louis Vuitton boots, green bejewelled fingernails and eyelashes that could be put to good use as helicopter landing pads.
Saweetie’s career has skyrocketed since her 2017 song “Icy Grl” took off — some might recognize the beat from 2002’s “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)” by rapper Khia. As of early this week, the “Icy Grl” video had over 60 million views on YouTube. The song has a line, my team is trying to eat, so we stay grinding. If those lyrics are any indication, the never-ending grind is paying off for Saweetie, who is now signed to Warner Bros. Records.
In a way, that’s most artists’ problems now. Touring is the moneymaker. That and streaming. There’s nothing really wrong with streaming. That is why they want us to appeal to the Western crowd because those people buy music. Those people buy merch, blah blah blah. But we have to do what we know how to do. So the Western crowd, they’re actually buying it, but we need our real fans to come and be like, yo, Davido album dropping. It’s a campaign—80,000 copies the first week, let’s go out and buy. Look at the Latin industry. They’re doing numbers. So apart from the music getting big, I feel like, yes, the music is getting accepted, but where are the numbers? When you walk into a building, it’s all about numbers. It’s not about if your music is sweet or this, or that—it’s all about the profit. That’s what we’ll be working on getting up.
Once she warms up a bit she’s nowhere near as intimidating as her imagery suggests. Her 1.1 million Instagram followers get the high gloss of her LA lifestyle as the physically striking daughter of an African-American father and a mother of Filipino and Chinese descent. The video for ICY GRL, watched more than 54 million times on YouTube, is all palm trees, waist-length platinum hair and giant fur coats. But there’s a small clue in the line: Looking in the mirror I thank God for what I’m about to be.” Until very recently, this has been a case of faking it till you make it.
Saweetie recently collaborated with City Girls for ” Come On ,” which finds the two rappers breaking down the importance of finances in relationships. The tune appears on the recently released Quality Control record label compilation, Quality Control: Control The Streets: Volume 2.
She started posting her short rap videos on Instagram, and soon one of them went viral overnight. It was the cover of My Neck, My Back, which ended up earning 10 million views on YouTube in less than a year. She later released the song as Icy Grl, which soon reached Gold status.
It’s crazy because just a year ago I was struggling, and I had so many interviews at Cedar Sinai and offers from other hospitals to take medical jobs. But my mom was definitely indifferent for a bit, just like any other Asian mom would be laughs. She was supportive but she would worry. But after she saw “Icy Girl, she was sold. I think she just wanted to see that I was serious, but I was kind of nervous at the same time. We know Asian parents can be a bit ‘Tigery.’ Her concerned-parent vibe just came from her loving me and wanting me to have a better life than her. But once she saw that I was following my passion she was all in. Now she calls me like everyday rapping my lyrics.
I always wanted to rap. I recently posted a throwback video on Instagram from when I was 14 years old. It was my best friend recording me and she asked me ‘what do you want to be when you grow up,’ and I’m like ‘I’m be a rapper’laughs.
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.
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.
A graduate of California’s USC with a major in Communications and a concentration in Business (plus a 3.6 GPA and full scholarship), Saweetie came out of the gate armed with an understanding of the wild world known as the music industry. It also helped her interacting with all different personalities. Communications gave me the confidence to communicate with people and hold a conversation,” she says.
Already fighting off critics because of her stunning looks and lack of musical catalog, Saweetie still doesn’t see any of the chatter as road blocks and is currently preparing her debut EP. This proud college graduate sees the present day as the perfect time for her to get settled in hip-hop. She praises today’s reigning female rap stars like Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, all while hoping to have her name synonymous with the aforementioned after she rightfully pays her dues.
There was quite a bit of gossip going around her at the beginning of her career, as she was allegedly dating J Cole while he was still in a relationship with his current wife. From mid-2018, Saweetie has been dating rapper Quavo.
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.
Saweetie was born Diamonté Harper in Santa Clara and raised about thirty miles north in Hayward, California. When she wasn’t enjoying the adoba and pancit dishes of her mother’s Filipino culture, she sat on her father’s lap watching him play bones with friends in their apartment off Tennyson Road. During those games she remembers Too Short and tile slamming, Mac Dre and dro. We get lit in the Bay,” she rightly proclaims, but her music exposure went beyond the locals. Saweetie’s mom made sure to pepper her with Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown and alternative rock.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s tried to suppress the memory of school maths lessons. Just thinking about that feeling when the teacher would ask a seemingly impossible question to the class, looking across a sea of bent heads avoiding eye contact until picking a suitable target, still haunts me to this day. However, there are some people who find their calling in maths class, whether it’s falling love with numbers, or, in the rare case of Diamonté Harper, falling in love with rap.
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.
Saweetie: Yeah, I’ve been writing since I was 14, and I was originally just doing poetry and open mics at my school. But then Nicki MInaj came out, and I was like ‘Oh sht,’ and I loved her. I thought I could writer poetry I could write raps, and that’s really how I transitioned into making music.
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.
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).
Focus” was Saweetie’s chance to blow it. The video for the record dropped two months after her breakthrough with ICY GRL,” and could have easily exposed Saweetie as a flavor of the month. Instead, she delivered an incendiary remix of DRAM’s Gilligan.” The single also kept fans hungry for the original material that would soon follow.
One of the students at the BSA meetup was Arrington Bridges, a senior majoring in political science, who grew up in Castro Valley — a town adjacent to Saweetie’s Hayward. He credits the rapper’s success to her unequivocal relatability.
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.
Quavo, 28 and Saweetie, 25, have been dating since last September after igniting relationship rumours following her appearance in his ‘Workin Me’ music video.
Saweetie found viral fame on social media in 2016, rapping out of her car as a means to circumvent studio costs. 3 years later, she sits amongst the brightest stars in the game. But for Saweetie, success is defined as more than a successful rap career. Check out how she’s utilizing her new found fame to put the ICY brand at the top.