10 PHOTOS

The Hotness: Sweet Tee

The Hotness: Sweet Tee

quotes
One night, I was a club in Manhattan where I met Hurby 'Luv Bug' Azor, and he expressed interest in working with me. I went home that night and I wrote 'It’s My Beat.' I rapped it to him on his answering machine, and sung the base line to him. He picked me up the very next morning, and we created the song. It was a great day."

- Sweet Tee, (THE HYPE interview, 2020)

Sweet Tee would land a deal with Profile Records via that first encounter with Hurby "Luv Bug." The legendary producer brought Tee into his IdolMakers camp; which included fellow stars like Kid 'n Play, Salt-N-Pepa and Dana Dane. From there, the Queens rapper born Toi Jackson would carve out a unique, ever-evolving career, with hits like "It's My Beat" with DJ Jazzy Joyce and "On The Smooth Tip." She'd resurface as "Suga" in the mid-1990s, working alongside the late, great Jam-Master Jay and delivering the hit single "What's Up, Star?" from the hit movie soundtrack for The Show. She's one of the busiest women in Hip-Hop, and she does it all while maintaining her career outside of music as an advocate for those suffering from addiction. And don't sleep: she's also regularly making them stop and stare on I.G.

Nobody's sweeter than Tee—and we got the pics to prove it.

1 of 10

"I Am Part of The Mold"

"I was a young girl when I started rapping," she told The Hype in 2020. "So rap helped raise me, it helped to develop me, and is a part of my being. When the rap industry began I was there, so I am part of the mold."

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Inspiration

"I draw inspiration from the music itself. When I hear something that I like, it speaks to me and I use my creativity as a rap artist to bring songs to life."

3 of 10

Helping Others

"I am an Assistant Director of a drug treatment program, so I go to work and it is strenuous at times, dealing with the population that I deal with. My job lets me alter my time any time I need to for 'Sweet Tee.' They understand and embrace her as well."

4 of 10

"Starving Artist?" Nah.

"If you want it go for it, but make sure you have a B plan," Tee said in 2020. "Follow the blueprint athletes use; you would be surprised the degrees some of the athletes have. It’s a back-up plan. You even can have a small business…you have heard the term 'Starving Artist?' You don’t have to starve to be an artist."

5 of 10

"Your Face Is in The National Museum of African American History..."

"Seeing my image hung in the National Museum of African American History and Culture...really hit home for me when I went to an event and someone I grew up with said to me, 'We were all playing together as kids and now your face is in the National Museum of African American History in Washington DC, where all of our history is documented, I am so proud of you.'"

6 of 10

Front Street

"I love being creative and making music, meeting a lot of people, traveling. What could be the least favorite part of this is your personal life being on front street."

7 of 10

Fascinated By Expression

"I started off rhyming in the park. And I had to have a fresh rhyme every day—just in case. My inspiration was just being able to express myself while rhyming. I was fascinated with that.

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Written By Sweet Tee

"I like to write screenplays. I'd like to establish myself as a writer of TV or film in the next ten years," she told Rap Industry.com

9 of 10

"Tell Your Own Stories"

"It is terrible how people can just create fake stories, post them, and it could affect how your fans look at you. And also everybody has ups and downs, but I feel like it’s for you to tell your own stories."

10 of 10

"...Built Into My DNA"

"For me, it is not something that I can just turn off. I feel like it is built into my DNA. Whether I ever put a record out or not, a beat or an instrumental can’t just play without my mind automatically trying to put a rhyme to it, and I’ve come to realize that that is never going to change."

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