Meet Vietnam’s ‘Queen of Hip Hop’ Who Freestyled for Obama in 2016

Meet Vietnam’s ‘Queen of Hip Hop’ Who Freestyled for Obama in 2016Meet Vietnam’s ‘Queen of Hip Hop’ Who Freestyled for Obama in 2016
Kimberly Nguyen
November 14, 2018
Remember when a young Vietnamese woman freestyled for Barack Obama when he visited Vietnam in 2016?
In case you need a refresher, here’s the video:
The rap took place in a town hall style forum in Ho Chi Minh City with the former U.S. President.
Vietnam is not normally known for modern music, much less hip hop. Suboi, otherwise known as the “Queen of Hip Hop” in Vietnam continues to break stereotypes despite other artists fearing repercussions from the government.
“It’s my home, it’s where I grew up,” the rapper, singer and songwriter had said in an interview when asked why she still lives in Saigon despite the censorship.
She has rapped about not only stereotypes, but love, family and daily life.
“For Vietnamese people it’s different, they think like rapping is not for women,” she said.
Her real name is Hàng Lâm Trang Anh. While that hasn’t changed, her success has. Even before rapping for Obama, Suboi had made her American debut in performing at SWSX Music Festival in 2015 and opening for Skrillex. She was the first Vietnamese artist in the history of the festival to perform.
Suboi is unapologetic in her writing. She started writing her own versus when she was nine and improved her English by listening and rapping along with the likes of Will Smith when she was 14.
The name Suboi came from “Su,” being her nickname from home, and “boi,” from her friends as a self-confessed tomboy, according to her online biography.
“When I started to discover rap it was like a confirmation that I can speak in whatever way I want – that it’s bigger than the rules, it’s about expression, communicating, exchanging knowledge, having a voice!” she said.
Suboi started her own company, Suboi Entertainment, in 2012 and since has had many successful collaborations. One of her most watched YouTube videos has almost 2 million views.
Suboi has also just recently released a collaboration with American-Japanese singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada titled “Too Proud.”
Her fans voice their support for her and how underrepresented she is.
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Suboi deserves a listen and joins the ranks of Asian women such as American rapper Awkwafina who continue to break the stereotype of what Asian women can do, especially in the music industry.
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