It’s been three years since Saweetie’s Icy regime began. Blowing up with her breakout hit “ICY GRL” and car raps in 2018, the slick talker born Diamonté Harper has stuck to her pretty girl code. As first heard on previous offerings, like 2018’s High Maintenance and 2019’s ICY, and sticky smashes like “Tap In” and “My Type,” the Bay Area rapper steps out of a public breakup and heads back to the streets — and booth — to do what she knows best: rapping about being fine and the finer things in life on her latest project Pretty Summer Playlist: Vol. 1.
Breakup aside, Saweetie has been the people’s champion all pandemic. While most of us Slacked, Zoomed, or Netflixed our way through quarantine, the Bay Area rapper took “working from home” to new levels. She stuck on her lengthiest press-on nails and swapped wigs and ‘fits to pose for glamorous pictorials on Instagram and magazine covers. From the studio, she served up the single ladies’ PSA “Back To The Streets” featuring Jhené Aiko, the TikTok-able BFF bop “Best Friend” alongside Doja Cat, and then hopped on the remix to Gwen Stefani’s spirited single “Slow Clap,” among other features.
Also adding to her resume during lockdown: a plethora of eye-popping visuals, cameos on Grown-ish, highly debated concoctions (a la ranch sauce on spaghetti), and three seasons of the quirky yet intimate YouTube reality series called “The Icy Life.” Like her Birkin bag vignettes, Saweetie is juggling multiple bags (checks from Quay and Tesla included) and paying it forward with new fire for her fans to heat up the summer.
On Pretty Summer Playlist: Vol. 1, Saweetie celebrates her singledom with a soundtrack made for sinning and spending. Setting off the pretty party is “Risky,” a collaboration with Drakeo the Ruler sure to activate the kind of shot contest that doesn’t involve a basketball. She also shares the spotlight with other women such as Bbyafricka on the latter’s kitty-loving single “Baby Mama Coochie” and Lourdiz on “Back Seat,” a sexy entry best paired with a string of purple grinning devil emojis.
On “Pretty & Rich,” Saweetie flips a manicured finger to the haters wishing for her downfall. And if curious minds were expecting a statement from Saweetie on her latest split, “See Saw” is the closest thing to it. As she and singer Kendra Jae trade lines about chucking the deuces to an old flame who fumbled the relationship, Saweetie spits: “How you figure, ain’t the woman that you thought?/ You was humpin’ thots / F*ckin’ narcissist, you just mad you got caught.” Oop.
No Saweetie project would be complete without nostalgia. As the subject of a trending topic or three, she’s drawn criticism on timelines for constantly rapping over throwback beats and dedicating bars to bagging fellas with eight figures, but that doesn’t stop her from reviving old favorites here. For “Talkin’ Bout,” she brings back Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How To Dougie” for her take on Loui’s “Put Yo Back Into It.”
However, Saweetie also keeps her ear to the tweets and offers a direct response to the feedback on the final track and Freaknik-ready twerk-off anthem, “Sweat Check”: “I know y’all tired of me talkin’ about a rich n****,” she allows. “But you are who you f*ck and I’m a big spender.” There’s no need to enroll in her Icy University sessions online to recognize that Saweetie’s affirmations are a masterclass in owning the narrative.
While the formula for her songs feels familiar, Saweetie knows how to amplify her brand across algorithms. Pumping out thirst traps and signing business deals is just daily routine for the University of Southern California graduate, who has experience in balancing a heavy workload. The same goes for her catalog of ear candy. She knows her saweet spots and delivers fun in different flavors — and everyone wants a taste.
Pretty Summer Playlist: Vol. 1 is out now via ICY/Warner Records. Get it here.
Saweetie is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.