After releasing her High Maintenance project earlier this year, the "Icy Grl" rapper describes "Pissed" as a taste of what's to come. "I'm super proud of that project," she says, "but I feel like I'm finally figuring out what works for me and my voice."
Below, Saweetie tells Billboard about the inspirations for "Pissed," her creative process for visuals and hitting the studio with Timbaland.
What was the inspiration behind "Pissed?"
I was really irritated online reading comments. I was coming across blogs that were spreading false rumors, so it made me very upset, which is why I called the song "Pissed." I was more so talking about the people who don't even know me, talking all that bad stuff about me. Y'all should be happy for me. It's funny, compared to my peers, my catalog isn't even that big, but I'm still getting a lot of notoriety because my songs do really well. I'm working hard and minding my own business and trying to do something I'm super passionate about. Sometimes negativity fuels the fire. It's like, "Okay, I'ma show y'all. Y'all talking a lot of shit, but I really got some shit in the bag!"
What was the creative process behind the visual?
The theme of the video is Game of Thrones. I love Game of Thrones, and I feel like "Pissed" captures that -- our teams are constantly fighting to be No. 1. I dressed up as Khaleesi to symbolize what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to take over. When I first came out with my blonde hair, people were calling me the black Khaleesi, and I kind of just ran with that.
It's very cinematic. I was heavily involved with the treatment of the video. I like my visuals to feel like movies. Hopefully people get that vibe, because I put a lot of time into this. A guy who directed my video, I actually went to school with [at the University of Southern California]. The fact we both have successful careers on the way is very inspiring to see.
You recently hit the studio with Timbaland. What was that like?
It was dope. I feel like he's so young with all this energy. I know a beat is good for me when I can just start rapping. It's usually hard for me to do that. I might even mumble something. I feel like his sound is cohesive with mine. I like that 808 and bass in his production, and he makes sure there's a lot of that inside the beats he gives me.
How has your songwriting process evolved across your career?
My style of writing has definitely improved. It used to take me a really long time, and I used to not be able to write in the studio because I felt there was a lot of pressure to be perfect. The more I'm collaborating with other artists, the more I realize being in the studio is about catching a vibe. Sometimes you can find a melody or the mood for the song. I find myself taking the pressure off when I'm recording in the studio. I used to be so serious.
Earlier this year, Ebro criticized your freestyle skills on Hot 97. What did you make of that?
I haven't spoken to him since. I mean, that's hip-hop -- not everyone's going to like how you rap, and that's his opinion. I'm proud of that moment because I learned from it. It's funny, because a lot of people ask me about that situation, and I respect his opinion. I'd rather him say that than lie to me. It was a moment that I'll learn from, and it'll help me progress with my music career.
Kehlani hopped on the remix of "Icy Grl" this year. Have you talked to her since she announced her pregnancy?
I definitely told her congratulations. She looks amazing right now. I'm just so happy that she decided to remix the song that put me on the map. When you get that kind of love where I'm from, that's just the ultimate form of like, y'all really support what I'm doing.