Saweetie is an American rapper and songwriter best known for her song ‘Icy Grl.’ She is from Hayward, California, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is Filipino, and her father is African–American. In her teenage years, she developed a keen interest in music. She started writing music at the age of 14. She ventured into rap music after graduating from the ‘University of Southern California.’ She began posting her short rap videos on ‘Instagram’ in 2016. Soon, she tasted success. Her fan base increased after one of her videos became viral. The video showed her rapping on the beats of Khia’s classic ‘My Neck, My Back (Lick it),’ which was later released as ‘Icy Grl.’ The video received unanimous appreciation and fetched around 10 million views on ‘YouTube’ till March 2017. Following the success of the video, she released a freestyle rap album on March 16, 2018.
Childhood & Early Life
Saweetie was born Diamonté Harper, on July 2, 1993, in Santa Clara. She was close to her grandmother. Her grandmother had nicknamed her “Saweetie,” and she later chose this as her stage name. She was born in Santa Clara, California, but later shifted to other places to finish school and graduation.
She lived with her parents and siblings: her younger sisters, Maya and Milan, who were twins. She spent most of her initial years in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She indulged in music at a very young age, and her interest grew even more when she began writing poems and performing at open mics. This experience helped her write her own songs.
Saweetie attended ‘Monterey Trail High School’ in Sacramento. She graduated in communications and business from the ‘University of Southern California.’
She was just 15 years old when she starting recording music. Initially, she would record on her phone and shoot the videos while singing in the car. As an amateur, she made her own beats and wrote her own lyrics.
She was from a small town, and making a career in freestyle rap was a tough and challenging choice, as she had to move out to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams.
She was raised in The Bay Area, which was then the hub of rap music. She was influenced by popular female rappers such as Nicki Minaj, Trina, Lil’ Kim, and Foxy Brown.
During her middle-school days, she performed alongside her friends in talent shows and later admitted that she had overcome her stage fright during those days.
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Saweetie drew inspiration from female rappers and posted her short raps on ‘Instagram.’ She had no idea that one of her songs was going to be so popular that she would become a celebrity. When her rap video on the beats of Khia's classic ‘My Neck, My Back (Lick It)’ became viral on the internet, she became an overnight internet sensation.
The song was first released on ‘SoundCloud’ in the summer of 2016. Later, her video was released and uploaded on ‘YouTube.’ It ended up earning 10 million views, as of March 2017.
In March 16, 2018, she released her first major label EP, ‘High Maintenance,’ which consisted of a total of nine tracks, namely, ‘Intro,’ ‘B.A.N.,’ ‘Agua,’ ‘Good Good,’ ‘Icy Grl,’ ‘High Maintenance,’ ‘23,’ ‘Respect,’ and ‘Too Many.’ ‘High Maintenance’ was an album that highlighted her equations with the people in her life.
She later stated in an interview that the success of ‘Icy Grl’ had surprised her, as the single was only meant to motivate her when she was in a dark zone.
In February 2018, her celebrity status landed her an advertisement for Rihanna’s cosmetic brand, ‘Fenty Beauty.’ She was then signed by ‘Warner Bros. Records.’
Saweetie’s cousin, Zaytoven, was a record producer. They grew up together. Zaytoven later produced a number of tracks for Saweetie’s first major EP, ‘High Maintenance.’ Some of the tracks of this album were also produced by Hassan, Cash Money AP, and by Saweetie herself.
While working on her debut EP, she mentioned in an interview to ‘XXL’ that she wanted people to know her because of her talent and that she had been working on original content.
She has also made a guest appearance in Zaytoven’s song ‘Expensive.’ She also made a cameo appearance in the song ‘IDGAF’ (remix) by Dua Lipa.
Saweetie was in a relationship with J Cole for quite some time, and their relationship was often in the news. They met before Saweetie became famous in the music industry.
In an interview, the rapper even admitted that Cole had influenced her mind to a great extent. According to her, he had also played an important part in her life and had motivated her to rap.
Although her cousin was a record producer, she never reached out to him for help, because she wanted to build her career on her own terms and not through connections.
As a female rapper, she faced many issues. A number of producers had asked her for “favors,” but she denied them. This denial extended her struggling days in the industry.