Saweetie Reflects On The Early Days Of Her Career After Facing Difficulties: ‘I Miss College Saweetie’
As the saying goes, “the grass isn’t always greener,” which is something Saweetie is finding out now as she continues to reach new heights in her career. The Bay Area rapper recently announced her partnership with Champion as a global cultural consultant and she is nominated for her first Grammy for her hit song “Best Friend” featuring Doja Cat.
But she wants fans to know that the life of an entertainer is not as glamorous as everyone thinks. Saweetie talked openly about challenges she’s faced and more on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast. “I just feel like as artists, you know, we have it tough. I feel like we have all the spotlight on us and people think that it's glamorous when in all actuality there are a lot of difficult things that happen behind the scenes,” she said.
She continued, “Hopefully you have a great team. Hopefully, the creatives that you're working with, aren't overcharging you ... It's like everyone who's around: You have to pay for this. You have to pay [for that] …”
It appears that the Grammy-nominated artist does have a great team behind her. She’s been able to secure several brand deals from MAC to Crocs and even hosted a show on Netflix. And she arguably has some of the best content on social media, but even with all the creative projects she has been a part of, she admitted that it doesn’t feel as authentic as it did when she was first trying her hand at a rap career.
“I miss college Saweetie, and me meeting other creatives,” she said. “I just wanted to make something else. Now everyone wants to charge for every second and it kind of just takes the art out of it.”
Reflecting on college Saweetie, she shared advice that she would give her knowing what she knows now.
“Take your time. And don't [jump] at the first opportunity," she said. “I felt like those tough lessons definitely made me a wiser woman, but I think I would've just taken my time ... Who [you] surround yourself really, really affects the trajectory of your career.”
As of late, Saweetie has been vocal about her struggles with mental health and being overworked. In December, she cut off all of her hair as a way to “start fresh” and she even began meditating and praising its positive effects. In a February 2022 interview with Power 106, she explained, "I wanted to start over and I did research about hair and hair holds a lot of energy. And I really wanted to just feel new and fresh with this new music. I won’t say new me. But elevated me. I really just wanted to start over again."
Here are other things the rapper has said about mental health and how she is navigating it all.
On Being Overworked and Finding Balance
"It's like I live, sleep, eat and breathe music and business. My team is really small, so I have to take on responsibilities that eventually somebody else will, but because my team is small, I have to help them out."
"It's just trying to find balance right now. I have no balance. Everything is just work, work, work and I don't have an outlet. I don't have a therapist. I don't hang out with any of my friends because I work so much, so it's just trying to thug it out into until the New Year."
"Balance needs to happen. I feel like I'm being run down to the ground right now and my body doesn't feel good. I've had mental breakdowns and it's just really stressful, but it's nice to be acknowledged because it lets me know that my hard work isn't going unnoticed," she said via PEOPLE.
"I'm just saying the peace you get, the clarity you get, it's really important for everyone to meditate. And I think the reason why I was so discouraged at first, I--- because I'm thinking that you have to be in a cream[-colored] room, like yoga-ish. But I meditate everywhere," she said via PEOPLE.
On What Self-Love Looks Like to Her
“Self-love is being conscious of self and making sure that you’re taking care of yourself. It’s almost as if it’s a high maintenance requirement to take care of yourself spiritually, physically, mentally. It’s about being conscious of all of the things that you intake, think and say. When you love yourself, you don’t want to pollute your mind, body, soul, and spirit and you protect yourself from the things that pollute the important things," she said via LADYGUNN.
On Her Definition of the "Elevated Saweetie"
“She meditates, she’s centered, she has clarity, she knows what she wants, she puts her foot down. I feel like before I discovered meditation, everything was, ‘Yes yes yes, I’ll do it.’
"No matter how bad my body felt, if the opportunity was great, I just said yes and I kept running down my mental, my spiritual, my physical. But how am I gonna continue to work if I’m depleted?" she continued via Power 106.
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Featured image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Tracee Ellis Ross Reflects On How Her Mother, Diana Ross, Fearlessness In Music Impacted Her Career
Like mother, like daughter.
Over the years, many have viewed the close dynamic between Tracee Ellis Ross and her mother, Diana Ross, through the pair's occasional social media posts about one another and their red-carpet appearances.
Although Tracee would go on to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry as an actress, entrepreneur, and host "I America" podcast, the 50-year-old disclosed that the biggest inspiration behind her successful career, stemmed from watching her mother, a well-renowned singer and actress, be resilient through challenging situations and continuously spreading love.
Tracee On Her Mother And the Struggles She Could Have Faced Being an Entertainer in the 1960s
During a recent interview on Larry Wilmore's "Black on the Air" podcast, Tracee revealed on mark 56:25 that she often asked her mother what prompted the 79-year-old to dress and style her hair a certain way, especially during the time she grew up in.
Diana was a lead vocalist in the singing group The Supremes in the 1960s and would ultimately go solo in 1970. During her solo career, Diana's fashion choices and big natural hair would often make headlines because, at the time, it didn't fit the social standards of beauty.
"As a person and as a singular talent, and you think of the time period when she came forward, sometimes I ask her questions, she doesn't even have an answer, like 'what makes you think you can wear your hair like that?'" Tracee said while acknowledging that her mother's choices possibly helped redefine the beauty standards. "Do you know what I mean? Like if you just think of some of the small decisions and you think of the years."
Further in the conversation, Tracee mentioned that her respect for her mother deepened when an individual posted a black-and-white image of Diana performing with The Supremes. The reason for the appreciation was that the black-ish star saw the women performing in front of an all-white crowd. This made Tracee think about the possible things they could have gone through, mainly racism, during that moment and how her mother remained a loving person despite the hardships.
"One time [on] Instagram, someone posted a picture of my mom and The Supremes performing. I've seen the picture before. I had never looked in the audience. It was an all-white audience, and all I kept thinking was it was a black-and-white picture. They didn't come in from the front door... I was thinking [about] all these things and what she had to be resilient through, resistant to, and what was in the environment when she was coming up. What that makes somebody, that my mom is so anchored in love that she's just a loving person," she stated.
Tracee On How Diana's Unconditional Love for Herself and Others Inspired Her Own Career
Also, in the interview, Tracee talked about how motivational it is to see her mother spread love to others through her performances while staying true to herself and her craft.
"I think the biggest thing for me is my mom has also been this woman who has used this platform of the stage to spread love but also not to say look at me, but this is me. Which is very different than a lot of what I see now," Tracee shared.
Tracee continued by adding that growing up with that type of foundation helped shape her career decades later because she saw firsthand, through Diana's determination and honoring herself, the positive effects it can have on one's life.
The Girlfriends star said, "That sense of agency and sense of self, selfhood has made its way into my life, my career, and the fact my mom is such a great businesswoman. It is quite a legacy."
Tracee's "I Am America" podcast can now be viewed or listened to on any streaming platform suitable for podcasts.
Feature image by Kevin Mazur/VF19/WireImage