The Bay Area and Sacremento native is an on-the-rise rapper to watch.
If you haven't heard Saweetie's "Icy Girl," released last October, you might want to get with it. The West Coast rapper has been making moves ever since releasing a series of car raps were posted on her Instagram page, she gradually flipped into followers and views, and eventually a budding rap career. She's now managed by Max Gousse, who A&R'd for Beyoncé's B'Day, and started her own label last November (fittingly titled "Icy"). While her atmospheric rise might seem as if it's happened overnight, Saweetie (real name Diamonté Harper) has long been grinding to be "on top" like her idol J. Cole. Here are some things you should know about the up-and-comer.
She Grew Up Listening To The Greats
Born in 1993, Saweetie was exposed to the Death Row and Bad Boy lineups early, along with a host of R&B acts like Blackstreet and The Isley Brothers. But it wasn't until she discovered the music of J. Cole that she truly knew what she wanted from her career. Saweetie went so far as to wait outside a Cole concert back in 2012 for the rapper to appear, asking if she could rap for him. "‘I’m going to be on top with you one day,'” she recalls saying to Cole, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
She's Got Connections In The Industry
Saweetie's mother Trinidad Valentin was a video vixen in both R. Kelly and LL Cool J videos. Her cousin's dad is MC Hammer. Not only that, but the legendary Zaytoven also happens to be her cousin. Despite these ties, Saweetie has been clear that she wants to make it on her own, without relying heavily on producers or industry pros. On the remix of "Icy Girl" with Kehani, Saweetie references how it is trying to make it in a male-centric genre. In talking about the industry, she's noted that sometimes producers wouldn't invite her back if she didn't hang out afterward. "'I didn’t want to compromise my morals. I’m glad I didn’t take any shortcuts.'”
Grandma Helped With Her Stage Name
Growing up, her grandmother always referred to her as "sweetie," a nickname that she would one day flip for a "jazzed up" version of the expression.
Quavo Is Her New Boo
The two were linked after she starred in his "Workin Me" video. Soon after, the couple was spotted at New York Fashion Week, further fueling rumors of their union.
She's Headlining TheInaugural ESVN Festival In Brooklyn with Tinashe
The event is catered to recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of women. In addition to musical acts, there will be over 20 guest speakers talking about fashion, mental health, diversity, and more.
Her Debut EP Came Out In March
The nine-track project, High Maintenance, features Saweetie's big-baller aspirations and her slick flow. There's plenty of Bay Area shoutouts and beats that positively slap. Standout tracks "B.A.N." and "Agua" are must-listens.
She Recently Collabed With G-Eazy, Rich the Kid, & London On Da Track
Saweetie linked up with the rappers and producer for "Up Now", a trap-influenced track where she intones, "if it ain't about that money it's a waste of conversation." All the ingredients are in place for a hit, and "Up Now" is sure to make the rounds at clubs and college parties.