Over the past few years, Saweetie has gone from unknown SoundCloud artist to hip-hop It girl. Perhaps she was born to be famous. Saweetie’s parents have had their own history in the spotlight, so it’s no surprise to see their girl climbing the charts and attracting millions of followers on social media.
Get the details on Saweetie’s mom and dad and find out how her parents may have had a hand in influencing her career.
What Is Saweetie Known For?
Saweetie, born Diamonté Harper, is a Bay Area rapper known for her slick flow and fierce ambition. She got her start in 2016, rapping over samples on her Instagram account. Her track “Icy Grl” was released on SoundCloud in 2017; by June 2020, the music video for the song had over 100 million views on YouTube.
In October, Saweetie was nominated for the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards in the category of Best New Artist. It was a big moment for a girl with humble roots.
“I know what it feels like to have nothing,” she told People in January 2021. The rapper revealed that during her senior year at USC, she stood in front of a bank and begged for donations so that she could afford to play sports. “I was broke. I struggled. I had odd jobs. I’ve had plenty of instances that humbled me. It keeps me in a state of gratitude because I know it can all be gone.”
But Saweetie’s involvement in football, track, volleyball, and dance were all pushed aside when she discovered her knack for rhyming. Her 2019 track “My Type,” which has well over 100 million views to date, presents a girl who’s far spicier than she is sporty.
“[The chorus] has a lot of great and flamboyant energy, it makes people feel good,” Saweetie told Variety in 2019. “Literally people who don’t even understand the lyrics love the song.”
Saweetie Recently Collaborated With Doja Cat
Saweetie wasted no time bringing us the girl power anthem of 2021. In January she dropped “Best Friend,” a collaboration with fellow rising star Doja Cat. “That’s my best friend, she a real bad bitch / Drive her own car, she don’t need no Lyft,” Saweetie raps. Doja Cat chimes in, “If she ride for me, she don’t need a key / If you side ways, she straighten you if need to be.”
The track is just a taste of what to expect from her upcoming debut album, Pretty Bitch Music. But it hasn’t come without controversy. In January 2021, R&B sister act Ceraadi made claims that the lyrics and video for “Best Friend” echoed their own 2019 single “BFF.” They posted side-by-side screenshots of the two music videos, where both duos are dancing in front of cars.
Saweetie didn’t take kindly to the accusation. She sarcastically commented on Ceraadi’s post, “Omg we’ll totallyyyy add you in the credz! MY IDOLS.”
Who Are Saweetie’s Parents?
Saweetie’s tales of struggling and hustling for money may be true, but it’s hard to believe that she’d be where she’s at without her folks. Her mom is Trinidad Valentin, a Filipino-Chinese model who definitely passed her looks on to her daughter:
Valentin starred in her share of rap videos during the 1990s and early aughts, including Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me” and DMX’s “What They Really Want.” No doubt her love of hip-hop and dancing was also inherited at Sweetie. Watch the mother and daughter bond over food and cute stories in the rapper’s “The Icy Life” series on YouTube:
Saweetie also got a taste of fame from her father’s side of the family. Her dad Johnny Harper, was a former football player for San Jose State. According to his record, he intercepted 3 passes and scored 2 touchdowns as a defensive back on the team. Her grandfather Willie Harper was an even bigger success at the sport. He was a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers for 11 years during the 1970s and 1980s.
She even has an extended relative that’s a familiar name. Saweetie’s cousin is actress Gabrielle Union. But make no mistake: the rapper went to great lengths to downplay her show biz connections. In a 2020 episode of Desus & Mero, Saweetie said, “[Family members] were all kind of upset at me, because they heard ‘My Type’ and was like, we didn’t know you was doing music. What you doin’ over there?”
“But I have so much pride. I believe in being self-made and trying to figure things out on my own,” she added. “I appreciated that they reached out and was like, ‘We see what you’re doing. Our friends keep talking about you. We see you and if you need our help, please let us know.’ So I appreciate the support, but for me, I’ve always been self-motivated. So instead of asking for help, I just wanted to see if I could do it on my own.”
Given her spirit as a hustler, we suspect Saweetie’s will rise to the top regardless of who her relatives are.