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Born in Santa Clara, Diamonté Harper grew up in and around the Bay Area, primarily in the city of Hayward. Though she aspired to be a rapper in early childhood, she excelled academically, earned a full-ride college scholarship, and obtained a degree after attending San Diego State and the University of Southern California. Harper's interest in music intensified once she got some attention for short performance clips uploaded to Instagram. One set of nonchalantly celebratory rhymes, delivered over the instrumental of Khia's 2002 hit "My Neck, My Back," developed into "ICY GRL," her debut as Saweetie. The official video for the track, uploaded in October 2017, went viral and notched millions of views, and led to a major-label deal with Warner Bros.
Saweetie's first EP, High Maintenance, arrived in March 2018 and entered Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart at number 32. Centerpiece "ICY GRL" was certified gold the following January. Almost exactly a year after the arrival of High Maintenance, the rapper returned with a second EP, ICY. Two tracks featured Quavo, but that August, the London on Da Track-produced solo cut "My Type" took Saweetie into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. A stand-alone track, "Tap In," arrived in June 2020. ~ Andy Kellman