Get Under The Hood with a growing Vietnamese Hip Hop collective
UTH connects, supports & brings out the best in all the artists
Through V#’s debut EP, LiFTED discovered Under The Hood [UTH], a Saigon-based Vietnamese independent music collective established on December 31, 2018, by Rapper MinhLai. The group was inspired by contemporary American street and Hip Hop culture, combined with the cultural identity of Vietnam. Through the music, images, and lifestyles of its affiliated artists, UTH wishes to build up its unique brand in the domestic and international markets.
UTH started posting on YouTube and other platforms two years ago, “We're not an official record label yet, right now I think we're collective and friends,” MinhLai said as the group’s backbone told LiFTED in an interview. The diverse group consists of more than 10 members working in different positions, including singer/rapper MinhLai, B-Wine, VSplifff, Lil Grace, V#, Anh Phan, Twentyfo, currently California-based Amber, DJ/producer Larria, beatmaker Pineradise, sound engineer Tan Huynh, as well as visual artists Minh Dzuy, Le Hung and Binh Vu, who directed Sol7’s ‘Tan Ra’ video. All great collectives must include a stylist and OANHHYEU is on board to round out this fully functioning team. "We're very thankful for having Minh Thai Phan, his spirit is one of the kind" as they give special thanks the producer who is like a "baby-sitter taking care of everyone of the collective".
The UTH channel started off with mostly Hip Hop and Rap but has expanded to a much wider spectrum throughout the last two years. “We let the artists 100% freely do what they want. Rock, R&B, Rap…whatever they want in the future, we’ll help them build it,” said MinhLai. This diversity and freedom in the artists’ music builds a great sense of trust and empowerment. The collective has a strong foundation of friendship, which leads them to connect, support, and bring out the best in each other.
The group has been quite active recently with a new cypher series ‘RAPFIX.’ While UTH only has 30,000 subscribers on YouTube at the moment, some of their hits have reached far beyond that. An example is the highest viewed video [1.2 million views] is the deep and meaningful ’TOPDAWG’ by Anh Phan featuring Larria, B-Wine & MinhLai. The simplicity with just cover art shows how good the music is.
MinhLai’s biggest hit is ‘Mad Flow’ [838,000 views], while the track ‘HOTXOAN’ features multiple rappers [762,000 views] and shows how the group makes different pieces of art. Apart from Music Videos, UTH also posts documentaries of behind the scenes at video shoots, or the mixtape production process to show their authentic self to their growing audience.
As MinhLai revealed to LiFTED, there are still a lot of mixtapes and amazing tracks to be released this year. Stay tuned to see what kinds of surprises Under The Hood will deliver this year.