Meet the Rapper Who Repped the PH Flag at the 2021 Met Gala

Saweetie has always been vocal about her Filipino heritage.

PHOTO BY Instagram / Saweetie ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

( Ah, the 2021 Met Gala. Somewhere in the glitz, glamor, and memes from the most exclusive red carpet of the year, we're sure you've seen the gown of rapper Saweetie and its two shimmering trains, one of which carried the colors of the Philippine flag! Saweetie decided to use the night's theme of American fashion to give her African-American and, yes, Pinoy roots a nod in her custom Christian Cowan gown. The rapper has always been vocal about her heritage and the Met Gala is just one of the ways she's repped the Asian-American experience.

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PHOTO BY Instagram / Christian Cowan

"I have two flags draped delicately on my body," she told WWD. "One of them is the Black-American Heritage flag and the other is the Filipino flag 'cause I'm Black and Filipino, and that's what makes me an American girl."

Saweetie reppin' at the 2021 Met Gala isn't the first time she's spoken up about her heritage:

Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper is a 27-year-old rapper born to a Filipina-Chinese mother, Trinidad Valentin, and an African-American father, Johnny Harper. Known as Saweetie, her first hit in 2017 "ICY GRL" now has more than 117 million views on YouTube and you probably last heard "Best Friend," a track she dropped with Doja Cat in January.

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PHOTO BY Instagram / Saweetie
PHOTO BY Instagram / Saweetie

She grew up in Northern California where her divorced mom and dad did a pretty good job at co-parenting. From her dad, she learned the importance of religion and thanks to her mom, education was the priority. "My mom's a tiger mom," Saweetie told Teen Vogue, saying that she'd sometimes have to rewrite homework if her penmanship didn't pass her mother's standards. But aside from schooling, her mom's house was the place where she got in touch with her Filipino roots; eating sinigang and belting out Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" are just some of the concrete examples. 

"I identify as Black and Asian, biracial," the outspoken rapper told Vogue. Saweetie spoke up against the rising Asian-American hate in April, saying "Having to deal with both Black and Asian hate crimes, and the discrimination that has been plaguing our communities recently, has been exhausting."

"The fact that these violent crimes could happen to any of my loved ones angers me. My mother is half-Chinese and half-Filipina, and there are a lot of traditions and memories passed down from her side of the family, especially time spent with my lola," she added. "Standing up for those around you or even outside your everyday life can make a difference. Keeping people accountable when they fetishise or reduce all Asian-Americans to a simple stereotype is a small but effective way to fight against the same oppressive system that people of colour suffer from."

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