On Instagram, Saweetie is unequivocally the Reel Queen, but as a public figure, she’s also a real queen, regularly using her platform not just to entertain but also educate. We recently spoke to the 27-year-old and she shared her plans to build on her natural activism efforts and also take them offline.

“During this time, me and my grandmother actually founded a non-profit organization called the Ice Baby Foundation,” Saweetie tells ESSENCE. “With this organization, I hope to help out my communities, the Black Lives Matter movement, which is more than a movement, it’s a lifestyle to me because I’ve witnessed my dad and my uncles go through it and it actually inspired me to create my own foundation. Even touching into the Asian community, I think it’s really important to give back to the people who are buying, streaming, and supporting you.”

Currently, movements are spreading across the country denouncing the increase in hate crimes toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a result of false information being spewed during the Coronavirus pandemic. Asked how she feels about the impetus for the #StopAsianHate campaign, Saweeties says, “I think it’s horrible. But I’m really happy that I founded something with someone that I love and trust — my grandmother — who’s going to help me help others.”

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Another way Saweetie’s been helping others is by teaching them how to expand their presence on Instagram and create engaging Reels that build their brands like she has. Last week, she taught her own Icy University session during Instagram’s This Is Music 2021 event which offered content creators tips on marketing, monetization, and building partnerships.

As for Saweetie’s personal advice, she tells us there are four guiding principles to posting engaging content on IG:

  1. Understanding your audience
  2. Knowing what kind of content represents your artistry
  3. Posting original creative content
  4. Keeping content short and concise

“Don’t always look at what’s hot and what’s viral,” she says speaking to the point of originality. “What’s important about content is it’s a representation of you.”