Saweetie (Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Records)

Saweetie let us know on her introduction to the world — on her “Icy Girl” viral freestyle back in 2017 — she can’t stop, won’t stop and now everyone’s digital best friend in their head is on the Cosmo’s April cover star and perched for world domination. “I’m really grateful for my start,” Saweetie said. “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.”

Saweetie also tells the magazine after she’s taken vocal lessons, learned how to dance and rap without missing a beat, so she’s a better performer now after a radio host insulted her freestyle on air — and social media quickly piled on. “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 trails off. “I had PTSD from that.” 

She continued: “Some of us have it naturally. And some of us don’t—like me,” she says. “And that’s okay because I know that as long as I work hard, I’ll become one of the best.” The 27-year-old told Cosmo she finally feels at home in her skin and it’s important for her younger fans who may look up to her to feel the same about themselves. “I kind of figured out what my purpose was,” Saweetie confirmed. “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 told Cosmo. “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.” It’s why she’s naming her first studio album, out this spring, Pretty Bitch Music. “It’s my way of taking back all those years where I feel I had to dim my light,” she said — and honestly, what else should we expect from the woman who keeps her “manicures and pedicures” done, because “I’m always tip top.” 

Saweetie shared her cover with her 11 million followers on Instagram, writing: “Had so much fun shooting this thank you @cosmopolitan! 💚💚💚 #prettybitchsummer playlist coming soon 🎶”