Saweetie is still feeling the effects of her Hot 97 freestyle.
Fresh off her breakup with Quavo, the newly-single rapper graces the cover of Cosmopolitan where she reflects on a moment that would change the course of her career.
Just as her single “ICY GRL” was taking off, she appeared on Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” in February 2018 where she spit an impromptu freestyle. But she didn’t exactly win over the hosts, who laughed and criticized her rap skills.
“If you was a dude, I’d probably be harder on you,” said Ebro before calling her freestyle “basic.” “I think you honestly need to get a little sharper on your diction, your clarity, and your content if you gonna impress me.”
To make matters worse, prior to her freestyle, Saweetie touted her rap skills. “I really be rapping. I’m not one of these Instagram girls that just raps because I got a lot of followers,” she said.
Three years later, Saweetie is still traumatized from the incident. “It was a really dark point in my life,” she told Cosmo. “I went from being so loved so quickly because of ‘ICY GRL’ to, on my first promo run, well, you saw the interview. The script flipped really quick, like night and day. I was like, Wait… I had PTSD from that.”
The internet made a mockery of her and questioned her talent. According to Saweetie, it all came so fast. “Because ‘ ICY GRL’ was so popular, I was being booked at huge festivals,” she said. “I was literally thrown into it.”
However, she doesn’t regret anything. “I’m really grateful for my start,” she said. “Because the mistakes, the struggle, the grind–it allows me to appreciate the rewards that come now because I know what it feels like to sleep in motels, to drive and do promo, to be stressed out.”
She continues to work on her craft and has even taken vocal lessons in the years since. “Some of us have it naturally. And some of us don’t–like me,” she said. “And that’s okay because I know that as long as I work hard, I’ll become one of the best.”
Later this spring, Saweetie is set to release her debut album Pretty Bitch Music featuring the Doja Cat-assisted single “Best Friend.” “It’s my way of taking back all those years where I feel I had to dim my light,” she explained.