Saweetie is on the April Cover of Cosmo chatting about everything from Pretty Privilege to her famous relatives and why she chose to chase her dream rather than just get a job with her USC degree.
Read some excerpts below:
View this post on Instagram
About having famous relatives
Imagine if Diamonté had had a Saweetie to look up to? Thinking back on it, she remembers a mostly happy childhood, but there were also some trying, character-forming experiences. (And yes, Saweetie’s uncle is MC Hammer and her cousin is Gabrielle Union—just don’t read too much into that.
“I don’t come from money,” she says. “I know there’s a misconception because I’m related to them, but that wasn’t my mom and dad in my apartment in Section 8.”)
Her parents—a Filipino Chinese mother and a Black father—were determined to give their daughter the freedom of possibility from the very beginning. In fact, that’s how Saweetie ended up with her legal name (her stage name, a nickname from her grandmother, came later).
“To a fair amount of people, Diamonté is a man’s name,” she explains. “The workforce is sexist, so my mother, she wanted people to think that I was a man on job applications.”
But that didn’t protect her from a teacher once accusing her of plagiarism or from another teacher insisting an attempt at extra credit must have been a ruse to help her friends cheat.
“There’s so many things like that that I internalized in my childhood because I thought they were normal,” she says. “But they weren’t.”
About having “Pretty Privilege”
Saweetie learned what it feels like to be underestimated because she was Black and because she was pretty. Yes, she’s read the tweets and think pieces about pretty privilege, about the ways someone like her can use their looks as unearned currency.
“I won’t act like there isn’t a certain type of power that comes with people admiring your face. But that’s not something that gets me off,” she says. “I like being Female Athlete of the Year. I like getting 4.0s for a straight year. I like knowing that I write my own songs.
I like knowing that I create my own treatments. I like knowing that I donated $150,000 to Black Lives Matter.” It’s why she’s naming her first studio album, out this spring, Pretty Bitch Music. “It’s my way of taking back all those years where I feel I had to dim my light,” she says.
On chasing Her Dream rather than getting a job
She began to reclaim that glow in college, right around the time she was asked to perform a song in front of a business class (penance for showing up late) during her sophomore year.
She chose to do her own track, and the class of 60 “was completely blown away,” her professor, Albert Napoli, tells me over the phone.
So later, when he saw Saweetie clutching her résumé at a campus career fair, “I think I said, ‘What the F-word are you doing here? This is not you.
If you went and got a job, you would die. Go chase your dream,’” he remembers.
“She and I talk about how that was kind of the seminal moment, where someone like me should have said, ‘Oh, yes, that’s a safe thing to do, go get a job, use this USC degree.’
But that was not her. She was one of the few people that I knew would give every single ounce of herself in order to try to make it.”
Read Saweetie’s entire interview here.