Internet Star-Turned-Rising Rapper Saweetie Is Building a DIY Brand

Photo Credit: RMV/Shutterstock
March 15, 2019

By Chloe Aiello

Before she was gearing up to tour with Cardi B, Instagram rapper-turned-next big thing Saweetie was recording short raps in her car to post on social media. Now that she's a rising star, she has advice for aspiring artists.

"Stay true to what you do, because there's a lot of people telling you what you should and shouldn't be. But if [your brand is] what got you all this notoriety and attention, you should stay true to what your brand is," Saweetie told Cheddar.

The daughter of a music video diva, Saweetie, born Diamonté Harper, didn't want to use her connections to become successful, according to Rolling Stone. Instead, she turned to social media and Soundcloud, where she could post and promote her own music.

"I didn't have money for a studio, so I forced myself to go on Instagram, Twitter, anything that had a social media platform to put my music out there and that's how I got started," she said.

Saweetie gained fame by posting videos of herself freestyling in her car over old-school rap beats. She dropped her first single, "Icy Grl," which features a sample of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (Lick It),” on Soundcloud ー the track and a subsequent music video went viral, kicking off her rise to internet fame. The video currently has about 70 million views on YouTube, and Saweetie is now signed with Warner Bros. Records, in partnership with her own label, Icy.

Saweetie told Billboard she was living in a room that was empty except for a mattress at the time she wrote "Icy Grl" ー a far cry from the lavish lifestyle she boasted in her lyrics. According to Saweetie, that's all part of staying true to her brand.

"Icy is a mentality. It's about being bossed up, independent, and just hustlin' to make your dreams come true," she said. "Yea I could be iced up now, but I wasn't that in the beginning. I have to say it's a mentality and I feel that mentality will get you to where you want to be."

Saweetie named her label "Icy," and she also has cosmetics, jewelry, and lingerie in the works to supplement the brand. It may seem premature for an artist who only recently burst onto the scene to start her own label, but, as a child of the internet, Saweetie is all about DIY.

"It's important for me because, why not do it if I have the resources to?" she said. "I think it's dope. I'm a woman, and eventually, I would like to have one of the dominant record labels out there."

For full interview click here.