On Quavo: Suit, $11,500, by Brioni / Shirt, $90, by Polo Ralph Lauren / Shoes, $795, by Saint Laurent / Socks, $20, by Tabio | On Saweetie: Gown, $2,890, by Adam Lippes / Shoes, $595, by Tabitha Simmons / Earring, $225,000 (for pair), by Jacob & Co. / Bracelet (on right arm), $17,000, by David Yurman / Bracelet (on left arm), $15,500, by Tiffany & Co. / Bracelet (worn on ankle), her own
“He’s always been fine to me. In a group chat [with friends], I would screenshot his picture and be like, ‘Damn, this nigga is fine.’ ”
“Oh, my gosh, I just don’t know if I should share all of this information,” Saweetie says after a fit of giggles. The rising Los Angeles rapper is talking about her superstar boyfriend of more than two years, Quavo—specifically, what first attracted her to him.
She is stretched out on a low-slung chaise at the Sunset Marquis, the fabled West Hollywood haunt. It’s early February, about a month before California went on lockdown, and Saweetie is wearing a chocolate velvet catsuit that looks as though it was poured over her hourglass figure, fur-covered slides, and a Gucci headband that keeps her hair pinned up high. We’re sitting poolside, far out of earshot of her boyfriend (who’s inside trying on clothes), when she inches closer to me, as if to divulge a secret.
“He’s always been fine to me,” she says, blushing. “In a group chat [with friends], I would screenshot his picture and be like, ‘Damn, this nigga is fine.’
“I seen her on my Explore page,” remembers Quavo, who joins us to pick at a burger and fries. “I was like, ‘Damn! Who is this?’ So I did my research and I DM her. I was like, ‘How she going to call herself icy and she don’t talk to me?’ ”
“So I slid in her DM,” he adds. “I told her, ‘You an icy girl, you need a glacier boy.’ ”
“He sent me the snowflake [emoji],” says Saweetie, “and I sent him the stir-fry back”—a nod to one of Migos’ biggest hits.
Considering her biggest hits are braggadocious hot-girl anthems—like her viral debut, “ICY GRL,” and last summer’s slinky earworm “My Type,” in which she growls, Eight-inch big, ooh, that’s good pipe—it’s somewhat disarming to see this bashful side of Saweetie. The only things pinker than her cheeks at the moment are the iridescent, jewel-studded nails she’s impishly hiding behind.
Flirting over direct messages turned into hours on the phone. This went on for months. It was 2018. Saweetie was just starting to take off after “ICY GRL” and Migos were busy promoting their album Culture II when Quavo took a shot and invited her to a kickback in Los Angeles—which turned out to be a rowdy backyard function that, she says, “looked like [the video to Tupac’s] ‘I Get Around.’ ”
On Quavo: Kurta, $185, from Vintage India / Pants, $200, by Daks / Shoes, stylist’s own | On Saweetie: Gown, $2,595, by Markarian / Earrings, $225,000, and necklace (price upon request), by Cartier / Bracelet (on left arm), $22,000, by David Yurman / Bracelet (on right arm), $6,500, by Tiffany & Co. / Ring (price upon request), by Jacob & Co.
“That wasn’t my environment,” he contends, before admitting that Saweetie ghosted him because of it.
She leans over and takes a few french fries off Quavo’s plate. “I was trying to play hard to get.”
Watching them talk, I take note of all the little ways they express their affection—like when Quavo gently massages her forearm, or bites his bottom lip whenever their eyes meet, or the way she flutters her lashes and pulls him closer when he makes a point she likes.
When I ask Quavo about their first actual date, he tells me a wild story about a night that sounds more like an episode of Donald Glover’s Atlanta. Having persuaded Saweetie to come to his city, Quavo had an entire day planned for them. He brought her to one of his favorite steak houses, Stoney River, where he nearly choked to death on a crab cake. (“I’m still getting to know him, so I feel awkward because he’s, like, choking at the table,” she remembers.) After dinner, Quavo took Saweetie to the headquarters of Quality Control Music to give her a tour of the studio. The evening would end, like many Atlanta nights do, at Magic City—the legendary strip club where exotic dancers turn twerking into an Olympic sport and its DJs are among the most powerful hitmakers in the industry. The music was on 100, bills were flying—and then a fight broke out.
Everyone went scrambling for the exits. Amid the bedlam, Quavo and Saweetie lost each other. “I didn’t know if it was on some gang shit, so it was like, ‘Let’s get to the car!’ ” he says, shaking his head in embarrassment. “All this time, I forget I’m having a date! She catches up and cussed me out in front of Magic City.” In person, Quavo is as magnetic a storyteller as he is on record, much to the chagrin of his lady. Especially when he reveals that their chaotic first date concluded with another, more intimate first.
“Whaaaaat! Brooooooo! Whaaaaat! I could fight you right now,” she yells, leaping onto his lap and shaking his shoulders. We all laugh so loudly that a group of people soaking in the hot tub glance in our direction.
“And we ain’t look back since,” says Quavo, planting her with a kiss.
On Quavo: Suit, $6,250, by Ermenegildo Zegna / Shirt, $270, by Officine Générale | On Saweetie: Gown, $1,745, by Greta Constantine / Earring, $41,000 (for pair), and bracelet, $6,500, by Tiffany & Co. / Ring, $9,850, by Cartier
Born Diamonté Harper, Saweetie grew up between the Bay Area and Sacramento. She’s been rapping since she was 14 but didn’t take it seriously until she graduated in 2016 from USC, where she majored in communications and business. She amassed a following online with freestyle raps filmed in her car but was scraping by on odd jobs (she did some coding and was briefly a receptionist). “ICY GRL,” the aspirational ladies anthem that made Saweetie an overnight rap sensation in 2017, was written alone in the bedroom she was renting from a Craigslist stranger.
Throwback is a word that gets tossed around when fans describe Saweetie’s flow, which walks the line between boasty swaggering and coquettish flair taken from the books of Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim. In the spate of a few months after “ICY GRL” blew up, her flow earned her millions of streams, a label deal with Warner Records, and a spot in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Super Bowl ad. Her ascent, however, wasn’t without stumbles. Freestyles for Hot 97 and XXL—two storied rap institutions—were widely panned, as was her first major televised performance, at the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards.
She’s admittedly still finding her way, but Saweetie has big ambitions that stretch beyond music and into fashion and acting. “I feel like I’ve shown like 30 percent of what I can do,” Saweetie tells me. “I know where I want to be, and in order to go there, you have to reflect and you have to take these moments and realize that these choices being made, whether they’re big or small, determine what path you’re on.
“I know what path I want to be on,” she adds, “and that’s the fucking megastar path.”
As Saweetie sets out to find her footing, Quavious Marshall has, for the better part of a decade, been one of the most influential voices in popular music as one third of Migos, the group he founded with nephew Takeoff and their childhood friend Offset in Lawrenceville, a suburb outside Atlanta. The Migos triplet flow and their Culture series (the first two debuted atop the charts) cemented them as one of the biggest groups on the planet, with hits like “Bad and Boujee” and “Stir Fry” taking on meme-able lives of their own and with everyone from Post Malone to Madonna calling for collaborations.
Quavo describes himself as a private person, someone who has trouble letting people in, which may have played a role in keeping his solo debut album, 2018’s Quavo Huncho, from reaching its fullest potential. “I tried to club too much on my album, and I didn’t give them nothing personal,” he says when I ask what he learned from the experience. “If I would’ve went a little personal, I think my album would have been a little bit better.”
It’s been over two years since Culture II, an eternity for any artist these days, especially an act as massive as Migos. All three have found success away from the family band, which has only added to the anticipation for the new album. “The vibe on the album is more of Culture, and that’s all I should really share,” he says. “We feel good. We feel new and refreshed.”
The question now is when fans will get a chance to hear it. Migos have teased a stopgap mixtape to appease fans as their fourth album is put on hold due to the pandemic. And Saweetie’s been working on a new project, titled Pretty Bitch Music, herself. “The work hasn’t stopped,” she tells me when we catch up on the phone at the end of April. “But artists have been placed in a predicament: Do we release music, even though streaming is down? People aren’t really listening to music. We’re all just trying to figure it out right now. We’ve both talked about putting out mixtapes, but it’s kind of like a gamble.”
Like the rest of us following lockdown orders, Quavo and Saweetie are mostly passing time by documenting stay-at-home life on Instagram. Cooking, bingeing TV. “We’ve been watching Ozark, but he falls asleep,” Saweetie says. “I’ll stay up until three or four in the morning, but he’s asleep by [midnight] and up early.” Living five minutes apart has been a small blessing: It allows them to record separately and easily spend time together. For Quavo’s birthday, Saweetie helped plan a quarantine party that was hosted on Instagram Live (over 41,000 people joined in), and Quavo surprised her during one particularly nasty L.A. heat wave with a staycation at a rental house so they had a place to swim.
A good pool seems to put them at ease. During our encounter 5,000 years ago at the Sunset Marquis, we’d talked about their love languages (she needs words of affirmation; he, acts of service), how they’d navigate conflict, whom they would go to for couple’s advice (her grandmother), and their plans for the future (something they wanted to keep private). And I learned that he enjoys coaching her on flow and giving her career advice and works hard to impress her with his own music (a revelation for her). But what came up more often than anything else was how their relationship had changed them both for the better.
“Growing up I struggled with communication, and he has taught me to be a better communicator,” she said. “I feel like I’m growing and I’m maturing because of him—not the music, not Saweetie, but Diamonté.… I don’t know how I would be as a person if I would have never met him.”
Quavo matched her earnestness. “When she talk to me and when we started talking to each other, the Saweetie shit go out the window and the Quavo shit go out the window. I give her Quavious. I give her what my mama calls me,” he said. “I don’t let people inside my life, and I let her inside. And she’s helping me grow up. She’s showing me how to love a woman.”
Article from : GQ
Photographs by Pari Dukovic
Styled by Mobolaji Dawodu
Grooming (for Quavo) by Christine Nelli for The Wall Group
Tailoring (for Quavo) by Tatyana Sargsyan
Hair (for Saweetie) by Ray Christopher
Makeup (for Saweetie) by David Velasquez for Rare Creatives
Tailoring (for Saweetie) by Karina Malkhasyan
Produced by Snog Productions
Special thanks to Image Locations