Saweetie can light up a room, but for a while, she felt like she had to "dim her light."
Talking to Cosmopolitan for the magazine's latest cover story, the "Best Friend" rapper, 27, opened up about her ascent to stardom and the trials and tribulations that came with it — and how she's now comfortable in who she is.
"Last year was the year that I finally became comfortable in my own skin. I kind of figured out what my purpose was," Saweetie told the outlet. "I think it's important to show little Black and brown girls that they can be successful in whatever they want to do. If I can do it, you can do it too."
"I won't act like there isn't a certain type of power that comes with people admiring your face. But that's not something that gets me off," she added elsewhere. "I like being Female Athlete of the Year. I like getting 4.0s for a straight year. I like knowing that I write my own songs. I like knowing that I create my own treatments. I like knowing that I donated $150,000 to Black Lives Matter."
She then referred to her upcoming project Pretty Bitch Music: "It's my way of taking back all those years where I feel I had to dim my light," she said.
It's clear that it wasn't always so great for her. In the interview, she detailed the dark moment when her career was taking off when she was bullied by a radio host for a freestyle.
"It was a really dark point in my life. I went from being so loved so quickly because of 'Icy Grl' to, on my first promo run, well, you saw the interview. The script flipped really quick, like night and day. I was like, Wait…" she told the outlet before saying, "I had PTSD from that."
However, Saweetie also admits she's "really grateful" for her start and the growth she's had because of it.
"Because the mistakes, the struggle, the grind—it allows me to appreciate the rewards that come now because I know what it feels like to sleep in motels, to drive and do promo, to be stressed out," she said.
Part of the critiques were early videos of her performances, which weren't up to par with what people expected. Hearing those critiques served as motivation.
"Some of us have it naturally. And some of us don't—like me," she said. "And that's okay because I know that as long as I work hard, I'll become one of the best."
It's a sentiment she shared with PEOPLE earlier this year.
"I'm always about independence, getting to the bag, and also inspiring others," she said then. "While I'm out here chasing my dreams, hopefully, I'm inspiring the little girls at home who are watching me, who will one day grow up and be a businesswoman or an artist like me."
"When you work hard, practice positive thinking and believe in yourself, you eventually get rewarded the things that do make you materialistically icy," she added. "But icy has always been a mindset. All hustlers are icy."
The "Tap In" rapper's new cover story with Cosmo comes just days after she announced that she and her boyfriend Quavo of two years had broken up.
"I'm single. I've endured too much betrayal and hurt behind the scenes for a false narrative to be circulating that degrades my character," she tweeted.
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