To say that I love Saweetie is basically an understatement at this point, as time and time again, she's in the news or on my timeline giving me all of my life. Whether she pops up on a thread with her signature, "I know that's right!" or she's seen purchasing an item that an up-and-coming designer made for her just because "everything costs money," like. I mean. She's everything.
And her approach to being a carefree, successful, modernized 20-something-year-old is everything as well.
In her latest quest, Saweetie sat down with Teen Vogue to discuss everything from growing up, to the release of her debut album, Pretty B*tch Music. Rocking a giraffe-print turtleneck dress, baby hairs laid for the gawds, a few outfit changes and a long, waist-length braid, we learned a bit more about Saweetie and what's next on her journey.
Continue reading for our favorite highlights!
On life after her first single, "ICY GRL":
While discussing how her life has changed since she released her first single, "ICY GRL", Saweetie revealed that she recorded it in her Toyota Corolla Sport because she couldn't afford studio time. But now, much of her life has changed.
"After 'ICY GRL' hit, I was in such high demand, and it really was like night and day. I had no artist's development. I realized that I never equated attention with happiness, so all that attention I was getting was overwhelming for me and I didn't know how to handle it. Which is why — fast forward to last year and this year in quarantine — I had a lot of time to reflect, and that made me want to take back my power of being confident and made me want to rethink my career."
On living her truths:
"I went from only wanting to write freestyles to having to create a hit. Now I know how to make the hits. I need to let people know that I'm a West Coast girl. I'm tri-racial. I come from a poppin', big, male-dominated family, which explains my masculine energy at times. People were only seeing 'icy girl,' but who was the girl under the blonde wig?"
On how having a Black father and Filipino mother shaped her:
Saweetie's mother was a model and manager who appeared in music videos for many artists, and her dad was a football player. But their careers didn't stop them from raising her with certain values.
"Growing up, I was confused a lot. Like, I would get mad. I think my parents not being together really just affected me emotionally as a child, and I carried that stress and disappointment [when I was] a teenager. I used poetry as a way to express myself. Because I had young parents, I had to grow up quicker because I was always being babysat by someone else. My parents are very 'do as I say, not as I do.' They're like Bay Area legends. My mom's a tiger mom. She wanted straight A's. Her disciplining me at a young age got me into the habit of achieving high goals."
Saweetie also speaks Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, which she plans to incorporate more into her music.
On her thirst for the finer things almost landing her in jail:
"Before I went to college, I almost went to jail because I got caught stealing. At a young age, I just always liked the finer things—and I'm not even talking about name brands. I just like looking good. In that moment, I was like, I'm not really about this life. I get straight A's, I'm a year-round athlete. I think the lesson was that [I had worked] too hard for everything to be thrown away."
On how movements such as BLM or 'Stop Asian Hate' has affected her:
"I felt helpless. No amount of money can bring back these lives or can Band-Aid the bruises, pains, and scars a lot of these families experience. And it makes me feel like, 'Do I matter? If I wasn't a celebrity, would they care about me if I was to get beat up?"
Eventually, she decided to put her money where her mouth is through her nonprofit, Icy Baby Foundation.
"Growing up, my mom always asked me, 'Where's your heart?' When she would question my actions and my motives, she'd be like, 'Diamonté, do you care? And if you care, what are you going to do about it?'"
On maintaining her integrity in a chaotic industry:
Maintaining her authenticity has always been a priority for Saweetie.
"When you are a young woman in L.A., sometimes you're put in situations that can help you financially but will take a jab at your soul, your body. I remember basically just having the opportunity to get some money, but in doing so I would have violated my morals and my values. I was broke but I was like, I will never do anything to disrespect myself ... no matter how desperate I get."
She didn't go into detail about exactly what happened, but she did chalk it up as a learning opportunity.
"That's a story within itself, but I think it was a moment where I was like, it's okay. You'll eventually get what you want out of life as long as you're praying and working hard."
And in the words of Saweetie, herself, "I know that's right!"
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Featured image via Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp
Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
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'Power Book II: Ghost' Star LaToya Tonodeo Talks Breakout Role And Shooting Her Shot At 50 Cent For An Audition
Actress LaToya Tonodeo demonstrated the power of speaking up as she recently recalled how she secured her breakout role in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost.
The hit show, a spinoff of the original series Power, follows the journey of college student Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) as he tries to escape his father's tainted image while running a drug operation.
In Power Book II: Ghost, Tonodeo portrays the role of Diana Tejada, the daughter of former kingpin Lorenzo Tejada and Monet Tejada, played by Mary J. Blige.
The series debuted in 2020 and became an instant hit as viewers were glued to the screen weekly due to its captivating storylines. Power Book II: Ghost is currently in its third season and has been renewed for a fourth.
Although Tonodeo has been a part of the entertainment industry for over a decade by appearing in various television shows and films, the 26-year-old's star shined a lot brighter after landing a role in Power Book II: Ghost.
In an IG Live with xoNecole, Tonodeo opened up about how her dream opportunity came to fruition and the rumor that she boldly asked Power's executive producer, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, to participate in one of his projects.
LaToya On Previously Working With 50 Cent
In last month's discussion, Tonodeo revealed that before landing Power Book II: Ghost, she was already working alongside Jackson for his Sony/Crackle series The Oath.
In the show, the actress played the character Tara Byrd. Tonodeo shared that as the red carpet premiere for the first season of The Oath occurred in 2018, she missed her opportunity to connect with Jackson because she was working on another project. But as fate would have it, The Oath was renewed for a second season.
In 2019, as Tonodeo reprised her role in the show and attended the red carpet premiere for the second season, she briefly chatted with Jackson, who at the time acquired the rights to the BMF story.
"Well, what's crazy [is] I was already on a 50 Cent show. So at that premiere, it's called The Oath. It was the season two premiere of The Oath on Sony/ Crackle, and he was there," she said. "Season one, there was a premiere, and 50 Cent attended. I wasn't there because I was doing The Fosters, and I'm like, 'man.' When I got to go to the season two premiere, I saw him, and it was around the time when he got the rights for the BMF story."
The Bold Move That Helped 'Powerbook' Star LaToya Tonodeo Land the Role
LaToya On Asking 50 Cent To Audition For a Role And Landing 'Power Book II: Ghost'
Tonodeo explained that during her conversation with Jackson, she congratulated the mogul on obtaining the rights to the BMF story and expressed her interest in wanting to be a part of the project.
Tonodeo added that although she is unclear if Jackson remembered their encounter or "if it meant anything," when a Power Book II: Ghost role came along, she auditioned and landed the job.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, like I want to be a part of it.' But I don't know why I did it. I just walked over there, and I was like, 'Hey, congratulations on getting the rights. I would love to audition.' I don't know why I did that. I don't even know if it meant anything or if he remembers or not. I do know that I did my thing in the audition, so yeah, we are here now," she stated.
Either way, with that story, Tonodeo has displayed the perfect example of "closed mouths don't get fed."
Power Book II: Ghost is now streaming on Starz.
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Feature image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for STARZ