Quavo, one third of the mega-successful rap group, Migos, and Saweetie, the up and coming rapper who ruled summer 2019 with her hit, “My Type,” are making chess moves to become music’s next power couple. Their latest play arrives inside the August issue of GQ.
The piece is titled “Quavo and Saweetie’s Love Language” and takes us back to the start. One day she appeared on his Instagram explore page, he DM’d her a snowflake emoji, referencing her 2017 viral debut “ICY GRL,” and she responded with the stir fry emoji, a nod to one of his group’s biggest hits. That is cute! I’m already hooked on their love story. In my millennial mind, that’s called hitting it off — and I’m not being sarcastic.
The courtship officially started 2 years ago with a first date that began with Quavo nearly choking to death on crab cake, and ended at Atlanta’s famed Magic City strip club, where a fight broke out. In the commotion, Quavo forgot he had a date and they got separated. When Saweetie caught up, she cussed him out. Wouldn’t this be a deal breaker, if not, a major red flag?
“We ain’t look back since,” Quavo says.
They gush over each other throughout the piece, as the writer notes their PDA — in one moment observing that Quavo “bites his bottom lip whenever their eyes meet.” It’s like high school love, but yet it doesn’t come across as immature. There’s some talk about their respective careers, but the focus is squarely on their love story, which is half prince and princess of hip-hop fairytale and half two regular young people who found each other.
“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.”
Two rappers sitting down for a magazine profile about their love is almost unheard of. It’s well documented how misogynistic rap can be, but we’re far past the days when 50 Cent was at the top of the charts, and hyper-masculine gangsta rap was the only lane you could run in. Hip-hop is the music of North America, and its points of view are increasingly more diverse. Men can express emotion and show love, and still be masculine. Black men can express emotion and show love, and still be masculine. The new generation wants to see it. Quavo and Saweetie are ready to feed that appetite.
It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a celeb couple’s love commoditized and sold to us. That’s the whole point of being a power couple, right? I’m not saying Quavo and Saweetie aren’t in love, but they know their love can benefit their careers. Besides, what’s more romantic than your partner helping your achieve your goals? I’m sure they fall asleep dreaming of their own On The Run World Tour à la Beyoncé and Jay Z. But The Carters were not built in a day. There are stepping stones to reaching that echelon.
First, you’ve got to become the new Cardi B and Offset. Which is ironic because Offset is one of Quavo’s group mates, and if you look at early images of the Migos, Quavo is always standing in the centre. He was considered “the cute one,” and therefore the face of the group. That was until Offset started dating Cardi B, and Cardi B became a household name. Offset now stands centre frame in their promo pics.
However, Cardi and Offset don’t exactly measure up to the fairytale we're being sold in this GQ article, after multiple, highly publicized, cheating scandals. That’s why I’m sure Quavo and Saweetie’s teams are encouraging them to lean into the love story. This GQ feature is the perfect way to start that. I came out of the piece thinking much higher of their relationship than I did going in. Do you think Quavo and his team and Saweetie and her team all meet up in the same conference room to discuss their next steps? OR does Quavo’s manager have sidebar conversations with Saweetie’s manager about how they're going to orchestrate this whole campaign to be rap music new royalty? Maybe there’s a group chat.
Pushing this out in GQ was a choice. They wanted mainstream media, but they didn’t want PEOPLE Magazine. Something with a more male audience, and a little street cred in the journalism world. In GQ, the feature makes a statement before you’ve read anything. An institution like that celebrating young Black love, and the Black love of two rappers? They’re not traditionally the most palatable choices to a predominately white, middle age, middle class audience. People who may not immediately be drawn to Quavo and Saweetie will read it, because GQ wrote it, and they trust GQ.
The rappers’ camps wanted the glossy magazine profile writer, and they wanted the big budget photoshoot — which paid off, because the images are hot, although I’m not sure if it was a hard sell for GQ to say yes. Not because many publications are scrambling to amplify Black voices recently (this shoot was done in February) but because GQ has branded itself as the purveyor of cool, and hip-hop is cooler than it’s ever been, in terms of widespread consumption. Many of their readers may not know who Saweetie is, she’s still an up-and-comer, but a lot of their readers probably know Quavo. Migos is huge with young guys in every demographic. GQ can’t afford to be behind the times.
I need more of this rap romance. The prologue hooked me. Click here to read the full piece.