AP Breakout Artist: Saweetie, Rap’s Ice Queen

LOS ANGELES (AP) – When California rapper Saweetie learned that she was nominated for two Grammy Awards, including best new artist, the competitive nature she learned growing up in a sportsman’s household came into full force.

His grandfather, Willie Harper, played for the San Francisco 49ers, and his father played football in college.

“I did football, track and field and volleyball,” Saweetie told The Associated Press, which named her one of their Breakout Artists of 2021. “You may be invited to the playoffs, but you have to win. So I felt like they invited me to the Grammys, but I have to win. “

Saweetie, who is also nominated for best rap song for “Best Friend” with Doja Cat, has reclaimed her title of “ice queen” as an arrogant rapper whose sharp lyrics put her in the ring with veterans. In the past three years, he had three Top 40 hits, including “Best Friend,” “Tap In” and “My Type”; his own McDonald’s meal (The Saweetie Meal), and became a TikTok meme.

All that success came from a hard work ethic instilled by his family. Her mother, Trinidad Valentin, was 17 when Saweetie was born and had an acting career in music videos, but she insisted that her daughter finish college. Saweetie graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in communications.

“I really appreciate that she pushed me to go because when I was in college, I didn’t appreciate it,” he said.

Meanwhile, her father, Johnny Harper, encouraged her to show off her rap skills every time her friends came to play dominoes. “And I was never scared,” he said. “But in hindsight, when I look back, I know he was setting me up for anything, so I really appreciate it.”

Now, with three hit EPs and a packed schedule, he’s had to learn to slow down and breathe. Even finding time to sit down and talk non-stop about some of his accomplishments was a challenge during a party he held at a nightclub, but he tried his best to stay fully present as the music played in the background.

She has also juggled to fulfill other important commitments, such as her first appearance on “Saturday Night Live” and her participation as host of the MTV European Music Awards in Hungary.

Every morning he meditates for about two hours, a practice he said he learned from some of his mentors.

“Meditation is very important to me because my life is so chaotic,” Saweetie said. “To be centered, I have to pray and I have to meditate.”

For her, the meaning of being an “ICY GRL” has expanded beyond her brand to her upcoming EP, “Icy Season,” which comes out on January 7 with seven songs and one bonus track.

“When I get this project out, it’s all about clarity. It’s about healing. It’s about self-reflection, ”Saweetie said.

But she is also aware that there is a lot of demand, not to mention pressure, for a full-length album, which she already calls “Pretty Bitch Music” and which will arrive in 2022. For her, “Icy Season” is her caterpillar phase, while that his first LP will be the emerging butterfly.

“A debut album should be clear,” he said. “It is an action plan, in a sense. Set the tone for your career. “

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AP Breakout Artist: Saweetie, Rap’s Ice Queen