“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.’ ”
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.
How Saweetie and Quavo—the de facto leader and production savant of the multiplatinum, Grammy-nominated rap trio Migos—first started dating is a story that began the way many modern young romances tend to. Which is to say, it started over the Gram.
“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.
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.’ ”
“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.