The gift of freestyling isn’t something given to every rapper. But when you put yourself on the stage to give a loose verse, the artist is expected to deliver or be subjected to harsh—but justified—criticism. Saweetie learned this the hard way and the moment still haunts her to this day. 

During her April cover story for CosmopolitanSaweetie touched on her botched freestyle on Hot 97 in 2018. 

“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 recalled. “I had PTSD from that.”

After confidently proclaiming that she was a freestyle rapper to Hot 97’s Ebro Darden, Laura Stylez, and Peter Rosenberg, Saweetie delivered a subpar performance. This prompted Darden to rip into her bars.

“I just thought the raps was basic,” Darden told her. “I think you need to get sharper on your diction, your clarity, and your content if you’re going to impress me.”

Saweetie’s failed freestyle turned into a viral moment, making her the object of social media’s ridicule.

Although it took a toll on her mentally, Saweetie is thankful for her rough beginnings. She explains that having to weather these storms made her appreciate the rewards she receives much more. 

“I’m really grateful for my start,” she continued. “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.”