Women in rap have always had it tough. How difficult is it now?
It’s not real difficult right now. I went through all those stages where I had to deal with guys trying to have sex with me. It used to piss me off, like, Is people really gonna expect me to do this all the time? I don’t go through that anymore. People think I’m mean or I’m Hollywood. I just learned who’s really rocking with me and who’s not.
Compared to other women rappers, you’ve strayed away from over-sexualization.
Probably because when I write, sometimes I be thinking how I feel at the point. Some people still expect me to mess with them. They don’t even care, I don’t pay them no attention. I let a lot of stuff be known on my songs, to teach female rappers that haven’t been through what I been through. The steps to get past what these niggas expect you. Just don’t pay attention to it. I don’t pay attention to it.
Younger girls look up to you?
At the Pitchfork Festival, I had on white. This little girl [on Twitter] was like, Yeah I’m on my Sasha Go Hard flow. She had on all white; she put our pictures together and she liked my flow. I had an audition for my "Spazz Out" video shoot. Little girls came just happy to be next to me. That’s definitely motivation.
A bunch of dope artists are coming out of Chicago. Do you feel any pressure to stand out?
I feel like all of us, we’re gonna have a chance to live the life. I look at artists like [Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco] and they living good, they making money, and I know for a fact that’s going to happen for me.
Any thoughts on Chance the Rapper?
I’m in tune with Chance. He dope. He’s cool as hell. I performed at Check Life in New York, and he came through and showed love. At the time, I didn’t know Chance like that. I just always heard his name. He doing his thing. Salute to him.
Which artist from the Chi would you most want to work with? I read that you’re a big R. Kelly fan.
I would love to work with Kanye, Lupe. He’s in his own lane. I would love to do something with R. Kelly, too. I listen to a lot of his old jams. "Slow Wind" and “Woman’s Worth”—he got so many songs [laughs].
Describe someone that’s a “go hard”?
I’m gonna use myself as an example. When I rap, I don’t have a soft voice. I go in. Somebody that goes hard just goes in. I don’t know how to explain it. I can show you better than I can tell you. No soft stuff, or no sensitive. "Go Hard" really came from my voice. It's me not caring about nothing I say and just keeping it 100. When Beyonce came out with Sasha Fierce, my uncle used to always call me Sasha Fierce. When I got in the studio, I put the two of them together: Sasha Go Hard.
What are three moments in your career when you went your hardest?
My first shows in New York. My first big show. The crowd was packed and I just got in the go-hard zone. I’m looking at it like, Dang, this my first big show. You expected me to be shy or not as open because I never performed in front of all these people. Another one is “Own Lane.” I never wrote a song [where] I was so much into my feelings and in my thoughts. And the Nutty World cover – I never expected my cover to come out like that. It’s so dope to be transformed into a robot. I told [the artist] I wanted it to be nutty and he went crazy with it.