Saweetie has multiple No. 1 hits on the Billboard charts and is a finalist at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards — and she hasn’t even released her debut album.
After dropping a slew of EPs since 2018’s High Maintenance with her three-time platinum-certified debut single “Icy Girl,” Saweetie’s highly anticipated LP Pretty B*tch Music is set to drop this summer. She’s already supported the album with hit singles “Tap In,” “Back to the Streets” with Jhené Aiko, “Best Friend” with Doja Cat and “Fast (Motion).” “Tap In” tapped into the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top Triller U.S. chart for a two-week reign, and “Fast” became the first song in 2021 to debut atop the tally in the week ending May 22. “Streets” sent Saweetie “back” to No. 1 on Rhythmic Airplay, following the success of “My Type,” while “Best Friend” locked down the rapper’s third top 10 song on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and remains in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100.
But as much as these markers measure her growth as an artist, she’s not stopping there.
“I feel accomplished, although I have a lot of more work to do. Honestly, it’s just an honor. And I was really surprised, so I’m just very grateful,” she tells Billboard in a Zoom interview ahead of the show. “I’m just really excited about being nominated with no album out. I’m kind of at a loss for words.”
As someone who was nominated as Female Athlete of the Year at her high school, where she competed in track, volleyball and powderpuff football, Saweetie likes a challenge. The 27-year-old MC has already defeated the forces that pit female artists against one another by extending her collaborations to women outside the rap game, like pop icon Gwen Stefani on the “Slow Clap” remix and British girl group Little Mix on their latest joint “Confetti.”
“I think it’s always important to challenge yourself, because that’s how you grow. And when I’m writing to other genres, it’s a little bit more challenging for me, but I like it. It’s exciting,” says Saweetie. “I grew up as an athlete, so I always welcome a challenge.”
Before delivering her first album, Saweetie gave fans a taste of what’s to come with her Pretty Summer Playlist: Season 1 EP, which dropped April 16. The seven-song appetizer also serves as Saweetie’s way of putting people onto up-and-coming rappers, including Atlanta-based MC and fellow Warner Records signee Loui featured on “Talkin Bout,” a nostalgia-inducing party starter that samples Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” and Kstylis‘ “Booty Me Down.” Saweetie promises Pretty B*tch Music will be out in the summer before her 28th birthday, on July 2, during cancer season (“What’s your sign? [What it is?], I’m a cancer [That’s right],” she raps on “Talkin Bout”).
“I’m just really excited. I feel like there’s just so much growth. I’ve been putting in a lot of work in quarantine. So, honestly, I feel like everybody else — I can’t wait to get outside,” she muses.
But there’s something else she can’t wait for fans to hear on Pretty B*tch Music: a major Latin collaboration. “I have a Latin record that I’m really excited about. I can’t talk too much about it because it’s not finished yet, but I definitely have a huge Latin record,” Saweetie teases.
Hosted by Nick Jonas, the 2021 Billboard Music Awards will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 23, at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT at NBC.
The Billboard Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.