The five torchbearers for the future of Vietnamese Hip Hop
Enter Low G, Wxrdie, Kimmese, Coldzy & Gill
Vietnamese Hip Hop has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early 2000s. Since then, the circuit has grown into a vibrant and diverse scene, with artists from all over the country pushing the boundaries of the genre and exploring new sounds and styles. Most notable of the bunch is none other than Suboi, who’s dubbed as the queen of Vietnamese Hip Hop.
How often can someone say that they have beatboxed for Barack Obama? Suboi can. Late last year, she put out an exhibition called NONÊ, which celebrates her life’s work thus far. And earlier this year, she was featured on the celebrated German music platform, COLORS.
Although Suboi’s sound fits the Hip Pop box, Vietnam’s diverse Hip Hop circuit has so much to offer–from the gritty realism of the streets to the glossy sheen of formulaic mainstream cuts. Rapital is a dope crew that has an ASAP/Wu-Tang vibe. Hustlang Robber is one of the hardest working MCs in Asian Hip Hop. PHÁO has a song with Tyga that remixes a Vinahouse track. It doesn’t get much more homegrown Vietnamese than that.
Who’s carrying the torch into the future of Vietnamese Hip Hop? As always, look no further.
Lê Tuấn Anh, also known as Low G, is a Hanoi-based rapper and producer whose rise to fame came with his debut album Phố Đêm in 2017. His sound sees the interweaving of traditional Vietnamese music together with Hip Hop beats, creating a unique sound that can only be him. Lyrically, Low G often comes to grips with social issues such as poverty, inequality, and substance abuse. He’s shaping up to be the voice for the streets.
Wxrdie is an MC hailing from Ho Chi Minh. Introspection is key to his artistry, and vulnerability isn’t something he’s afraid of tapping into. While that may be a scary feat for others, Wxrdie doesn’t hold back in that right. Often releasing his cathartic exhales over smooth Lo-Fi production, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to drop club-ready cuts. He has it all in his arsenal.
If there’s one thing that Kimmese, whose real name is Kim Ngân, has exhibited throughout her releases, is her range. Not only does she kill it on R&B takes, but she also knows how to go crazy with her bars. Although she’s been around the scene longer than the rest of the artists featured on this list, she’s known to always mix things up with all her brand-new releases. With that being said, the torch is in safe hands with her.
We don’t know for sure why he named himself Coldzy, but if it’s because of his absolutely cold flow, he definitely hit the nail on the head for that take. The Hanoi MC has no regard for any sort of sound. Whether it’s hardcord Drill or a mellow beat, he spits his bars brilliantly and always has that chilly flow. Whenever Coldzy drops, make sure there’s a jacket near you.
When you hear a Gill track, you’re guaranteed to instantaneously have a smile on your face. The Ho Chi Minh City MC’s sound can be easily recognized through his catchy hooks, playful lines, and all the upbeat melodies. It’s always a fun time with Gill, and that’s what youth culture has always been about – the constant chase for good times and all the euphoria that comes along with it.