Photo courtesy Instagram (@brandonalmengo)
In 2017, a new sound emerged from the speakers of the West Coast with an unmatched frequency that commanded the attention of the music industry. Queued in every car and club across the nation, “ICY GRL” was an anthemic ode to the women who reveled in their beauty and always kept “ten white toes in them Tory flip flops.” Most of all, the freestyle turned breakout hit catapulted Diamonté Harper, affectionately known as Saweetie, to the ranks of female rappers who amassed the unapologetic aura of this era in their lyricism.
Touting her Icy Girl demeanor from the start, the now 27-year-old rose to prominence from the humble beginnings of her car. As a full-time student at the University of Southern California, daily commutes to and from school doubled as her studio time to write her raps that she would release to her steadily growing fanbase on Instagram.
In this day and age, the internet is the prime springboard that propels artistry from social media to streaming platforms — and we’ve witnessed it firsthand with the Cali-bred femcee. In her interview with NBC Bay Area, she recounts how she curated her roughly-two minute debut single “ICY GRL” during one of her routine routes. She would later casually premiere it on Instagram, the traction would spread via social media wildfire and she would emerge as a glorious phoenix ready to take the industry by storm.
Her braggadocious femininity juxtaposed with hip hop beats reminiscent of the past, like the sample of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (Like It)” that underscored “ICY GRL,” became the undeniable hallmark of her music. Within less than a year, her unprecedented social media acclaim led to her being she signed to Warner Bros. Records in partnership with her label Icy.
Magnetizing the industry with this self-asserting glamour and grandeur, Saweetie transformed her debut single into a one-way golden ticket to the powerhouse arena that she has been dominating as of late.
Her release of her first EP High Maintenance in 2018 and her sophomore EP Icy in 2019 solidified her stardom as a multi-platinum selling artist. And of course, her witty candor infused with the nostalgic sound of the 90s —as seen in “That’s My Type” and her latest single “Tap In”— has continued to be at the forefront.
Even greater than Saweetie’s ascent in artistry is how she’s joined the female rappers at the helm of the industry who have metamorphosed their image and likeness into full-fledged entrepreneurship.
The Bay Area rapper came onto the scene with a style that seamlessly meshed the around the way girls of the 90s and the it-girls of the early 00s. Magnetizing the industry with this self-asserting glamour and grandeur, Saweetie transformed her debut single into a one-way golden ticket to the powerhouse arena that she has been dominating as of late.
For women, her music screams the rhetoric of loving ourselves wholly, prioritizing their standards first and to always “be where the bosses be.”
Her digital presence in her luxe tresses and acrylic claws and enhanced her icy girl allure in adjacent industries. “Manicures and pedicures, always tip-top” could easily be her lyrical slogan as her magnetic appeal has landed her everywhere, from front rows of couture fashion shows to the front covers of magazines. In her bag of partnerships galore, Saweetie flaunts a capsule collection with Pretty Little Thing and a platinum makeup collaboration with Morphe.
Most of all, her rise to stardom reflects the undoubted force to be reckoned with that she is. For women, her music screams the rhetoric of loving ourselves wholly, prioritizing our standards first, and to always “be where the bosses be.”
For women, she is a gleaming reflection of what it’s like to be unfiltered and uncut while following your dreams fully — even when the circumstances call for writing raps in the car in between school and four jobs. Even two years after her initial outset to fame, her latest release, “Pretty B— Freestyle,” the humility at the root of her success is still loud and clear.
In the single that precedes her forthcoming album “Pretty B— Music,” the rapper spits, “I was in the dorm stretched out with my roomie, now I’m in the Benz stretched out cause it’s roomy.” This candid lyricism reminds her fanbase that living the icy lifestyle that she boasts in her music starts with manifesting the mentality into reality. The path she has forged has been on her terms and she continues to remind us why it is never the time to sleep on Saweetie.