Vietnamese hip-hop phenom Suboi delivers an emotionally charged performance against the monochromatic background of Colors Studios in a new video.
Performing a piano arrangement of the song “Best Friend” from her latest album “NO-NÊ,” the 33-year-old Saigon native’s stellar vocals and striking pink and purple dress blend perfectly with the magenta stage.
Hardened by the male-dominated hip hop scene “as a girl in an all guys area,” Suboi reveals in an interview with Colors that she never wrote love songs because she “wasn’t comfortable with” being vulnerable.
Through the track “Best Friend,” Suboi can finally channel these suppressed emotions.
“I just wanna express what my love is. It’s not about the step one step two step three, and how perfect you are, it’s about the confusion.”
The YouTube video’s comments section was swarmed by fans who lauded the rapper’s delicate and mesmerizing vocal delivery.
“The imagery, the cadence, every word was breathed with soul,” a commenter wrote. “This is the sound that Vietnamese Hip Hop should show the world.”
Another user said they were moved to tears by the performance.
“I don’t know why after awhile I started to cry. It touches. It’s so deep feeling…” the commenter wrote.
Dubbed the “queen of Vietnamese hip hop,” Suboi’s stage name comes from her childhood nickname “Su,” which is combined with “boi,” a nod to her tomboyish nature.
In 2015, she became the first Vietnamese artist to perform at the music festival South by Southwest and even rapped for former president Barack Obama during his tour of Vietnam the following year.