Like any child of the Internet, American rapper Saweetie, née Diamonté Harper, got her moniker, in part, because of social media. “My grandmother actually called me her ‘sweetie.’ Then I made it my Myspace username, but I put the ‘a’ [in there] because I thought ‘sweetie’ was boring,” the 27-year-old tells us with a laugh. “And it just stuck.”
The Bay Area-born rapper has an easy-going energy that is palpable through our Zoom chat. She’s down-to-earth, funny and feels like she’s your close friend – throw in her writing talent, her drive, and her delivery, she has all the makings of an undeniable superstar. Saweetie broke onto the scene with her debut single, ICY GRL, which was a viral hit featured on her first EP, High Maintenance. She followed it up with her sophomore project, ICY, which featured her double platinum single My Type. Now, she’s gearing up for the release of her third project, an album titled Pretty Bitch Music, set to drop sometime this fall. We caught up with her to chat about new music, beauty must-haves and confidence.
How is Pretty Bitch Music different from your previous work?
It just feels different. I feel like with this body of work you’re able to meet me. The first two projects I was trying to figure out what sounded best, what I wanted to talk about. My brain was everywhere. But with Pretty Bitch Music, I know what I’m doing. I can’t wait to share it because it’s fun, it’s inspirational and you get to know me better. There’s just a lot of things on my list that I checked off with each song.
Each single of yours has found more and more success. Does that make you feel pressured to top yourself or does it motivate you to go harder?
I grew up an athlete. I ran track and I played volleyball. So that competitive spirit is what keeps me going. I challenge myself and I know that my competition is myself. I keep having to beat my last song. It’s inspiring and it motivates me to want to do better and perfect what I’m doing.
Pretty Bitch Music isn’t about how you look – it’s about your confidence and your aura. How did you find your confidence?
“Your aura.” I love that so much. I’ve never said aura but I’m going to start using that because it’s so on the nose. You know, I feel like confidence is something that I’m able to gift to women through my music and I owe that to the women in my family. I’m very grateful for them because they are the ones who gave me words of encouragement and wisdom as a little girl and it stuck with me. It’s priceless because it made me the woman I am today.
The lyrics “I see them copy every look I got a few daughters” from Pretty Bitch Freestyle play in a loop in my head all the time. Is there a specific bar that after you finished writing made you kind of go like, “This is so fire”?
Okay, this is really funny. My most popular lyrics are the lyrics that I’m most unsure about. A really popular lyric and a lyric that I really love but almost didn’t make it was, “ate it with his grill now his diamonds in my coochie.” [Editor’s note: from the song Pretty Bitch Freestyle]
That almost didn’t make it in the song?
It almost didn’t because I thought, “Okay I’m just being funny.” But every time I second guess myself on a lyric, it ends up being one of the most popular bars. So I’m learning to just trust myself, to not be so hard when I’m writing and to just be free with it.
Let’s play an Icy Girl version of Would You Rather. Would you rather give up highlighter or blush?
Girl, are you serious? Oh my gosh, I can’t choose. Okay, I’m going to tell you this, I’m oily, so I’ll keep the blush because the longer I wear makeup, I’ll get some natural highlighter going on.
Would you rather never get a manicure again or never get a pedicure again?
Never get a manicure, I can do my nails, I can’t do my feet. Feet is just, that’s an art. Yeah, I need them to be clean and I need them white and pretty.
Would you rather never wear lip gloss or never wear lashes again?
I knew you were going to ask me that. Damn. Lashes, girl. My lip gloss has got to be popping, it just makes me feel good.
You’re dropping a lip gloss right?
Oh yeah, definitely. We have been working on it for a really long time and we’ve perfected it. It’s thick like M.A.C and it smells good and it hydrates your lips, it’s just amazing.
What do you hope fans take away from Pretty Bitch Music?
I have days where I’m not feeling myself and I feel like we don’t really discuss that. It’s always about being perfect or being a bad bitch but we’re not always feeling that way. It’s important that we don’t just feel confident for a brief moment, but we work to slowly build ourselves up to stay confident people. I hope they take away some confidence and self-power.
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