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Saweetie Emotionally Recalls Living in Her Car Before Becoming Famous: ‘I Was Literally Couch Surfing’

The 30-year-old rapper recalled the harsh realities of her life pre-fame and giving herself a deadline to make it in Los Angeles.
Power 106 Los Angeles / YouTube

YouTube: Power 106 Los Angeles

Saweetie remembers what it’s like to struggle.

The 30-year-old rapper stopped Power 106 Los Angeles for an interview with Brown Bag Mornings while promoting her new single “Nani.”

During their conversation, the Sacramento native detailed her struggles before achieving fame and revealed the time she was homeless and couch surfing in L.A.

“I remember I was too proud to tell my friends and my family that I had nowhere to stay and I was literally couch surfing,” said Saweetie through tears at the 9:49 mark in the video above. “But it was cool because people always wanted to be around. So I didn't have to worry about having a place to stay, but my homegirls knew what was going on. But I never wanted to take up space in someone's house, so I would just keep my closet in my car.”

“But you know what? It was cool because when it was time to party, I didn't have to go home. I just had to go to my trunk,” she joked.

Saweetie revealed that she would plan her weeks around where she could stay each night, often breaking up her stays by visiting different friends and family members.

Instagram: @brownbagmornings106 and @rosecransvic

Despite seemingly being able to manage her set of circumstances, being homeless took a toll on her self-esteem and made her feel undeserving.

“Girl, talk about having no confidence. I would even feel bad about partying. I know I just made that comment, but it's just like— imagine not having the money, couch surfing, and then sometimes being in the club or being at parties,” the rapper told the Brown Bag Mornings co-hosts. “I would always just go home early because I felt like I didn't deserve to be there.”

Although she considered getting a full-time job, she ultimately decided against it to focus on her music career.

“I could either get a job but as a graduate, you know, most of us are looking for full time jobs. But if I'm full time, I'm working 40 hours a week. And if I'm doing 40 hours a week, it's the same thing as going to school. And if I'm doing that, then I'm not doing music.”

For a year, she lived with limited resources and eventually rented rooms through Craiglist because they didn’t require pay stubs or proof of income compared to an apartment.

X/Twitter: @Complex

Elsewhere in the interview, Saweetie recalled writing “ICY GRL,” her 2017 breakthrough single filled with affirmations, while living in a rented room with minimal furniture.

“That's why in ‘ICY GRL,’ I said, ‘Looking in the mirror, I thank God for what I'm about to be’ because I swear I was looking in the mirror, I said ‘You broke bitch. You need to get your shit together,’” she recalled.

“I always aspired to be like a boss bitch and when people try to make it seem like I've always had it together? No, that's just the aesthetic that I was giving online on Tumblr and on Instagram. You know them VSCO filters. You put the right thing, it can make you look real expensive,” she recalled.

“I sat down one day and I was like, ‘you know what, I'm going to give myself a year to make it’ and if I can't make it, I'm going back home and I'll probably just stack my paper up and then move back to L.A. and just try again,” Saweetie added. “On the ninth month is when I got discovered, and that's why I just signed the contract because I was like, ‘I need this money.’”

According to Billboard, Saweetie signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2018 in a partnership with her own imprint, Icy, after a bidding war from several other labels.

This isn’t the first time she’s spoken out about her pre-fame struggles recently.

In February, she was criticized on X for releasing her then-latest single, “Richtivities.” One user on the platform felt the song may be insensitive, writing, “this song during a time where a lot of Americans can't pay bills, buy groceries, or afford other necessities let alone luxuries is just not the vibe for me.”

X/Twitter: @Complex

“When I was pursuing my career with barely any money to support myself in LA… I loved listening to music that made me hustle harder to attain the lifestyle I always wanted. idk maybe we just built different,” Saweetie wrote in response at the time.

This article was originally published on

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