Datmaniac is one of Vietnamese hip hop’s most respected artists. Photo vtv.vn

With social distancing in full swing in Việt Nam amid the coronavirus pandemic, we all have plenty of time on our hands to explore new things, so why not dive into the rich world of Vietnamese hip hop?

From hugely commercially successful stars like Suboi to more underground MCs, Việt Nam has a rich hip hop scene, so we’ve put together a list of five tracks to introduce you to it.

So read on and turn up the volume and hopefully by the time social distancing ends and house parties return you’ll have some fire Vietnamese beats to play when it’s your turn with the aux cable.

Mấy Con Mèo – Datmaniac

Datmaniac is one for the hip hop purists and this song is pure fire.

The video was filmed in (appropriately as the title translates as ‘Some Cats’) a cat shelter in HCM City’s District 8, which at the time housed about 200 of the furry felines.

Famed for the speed of his rapping, this song has Datmaniac in something of a contemplative mood, rapping over a slow, chilled beat. No wonder it was a huge hit upon its release in 2017.

N-Sao? - Suboi

If you don’t know who Suboi is, which rock have you been living under?

The queen of Vietnamese hip hop has risen to become one of the country’s biggest celebrities, performed at a showcase run by the iconic South By Southwest in the US and even spat some bars for US President Barack Obama when he visited Việt Nam in 2016.

Born and raised in HCM City, the video for N-Sao? features the city’s vibrant streets at night, with lights and people everywhere as Suboi raps over a jerky beat, asking “Now I’m happy, so what?”

Itsabet – Kimmese featuring Andree Right Hand

If HCM City has Suboi repping it, Kimmese is holding it down for the capital.

Rapper, singer, songwriter and equally as comfortable in English as Vietnamese, Kimmese is nothing if not versatile.

The video for Itsabet features Kimmese and pals cruising around her native Hà Nội with a few scenes that will be familiar to anyone who’s lived in the city, including some kids loitering outside a Circle K.

Itsanewday - SMO

SMO has one of the most distinctive voices in the Vietnamese rap game and this video is certainly distinctive.

The video is split into three different tracks, but it’s the beginning that stands out as the young man from Buôn Ma Thuột City in Đắk Lắk Province hangs out with and rides one of the elephants native to his home province.

Đỉnh Núi Tuyết Của Nuối Tiếc - Datmaniac

We’re unapologetically going back to the well with Datmaniac.

 

The man can do no wrong, and this 2019 track has him in full form, showing his technical ability and skill at crafting a rapid flow alongside his trademark introspection.

New MV encourages people to follow strict measures to prevent spread of Covid-19

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Music video Việt Nam ơi! Đánh Bay Covid (Dear Việt Nam, Let’s Win the War on Covid-19), a music project endorsed by the Ministry of Heath, was released this morning. Photo courtesy of the producer

The music video Việt Nam ơi! Đánh Bay Covid (Dear Việt Nam, Let’s Win the War on Covid-19), a music project endorsed by the Ministry of Heath, was released today.

The song is another version of composer and singer Minh Beta’s Việt Nam Ơi! (Dear Việt Nam), a motivational song for the national football team.

The new lyrics call on Vietnamese people to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nguyễn Đình Anh, head of Emulation and Commendation Department under the ministry, said that Việt Nam ơi! Đánh Bay Covid "is one of the best motivational songs to call for citizens to be together with the health sector to win the war against the pandemic."

The MV features Minh Beta, veteran actor Trung Dân, choreographers Quang Đăng and Khánh Thi, model Hà Anh and YouTubers Pom and Quỳnh Anh Shyn.

In the MV, the artists encourage people to wash their hands, wear face masks, and report about their health.

They also asked people to stop reporting fake news, stockpiling or hoarding goods, and gathering in public places.

The MV ends with images cut from top 20 videos from the video making contest “Hát Lên Việt Nam Ơi!” (Let’s Sing Together) launched by the Health Ministry.

Minh Beta worked with the non-governmental organisation Hear-Us-Now to provide sign language on the MV.

Minh said: “We hope the MV transfers its message of solidarity to individuals in Việt Nam, and sends our appreciation and gratitude to doctors, soldiers, police, journalists and scientists.”

He added: "When your motherland calls upon you, all you can do your best to stay where you are. Việt Nam never leaves anyone behind.”

Hà Linh releases virus music video in English and Vietnamese

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Singer Hà Linh. Photo nguoinoitieng.tv

Singer Hà Linh has released a music video entitled Thế Giới Cùng Chống Đại Dịch Corona (Unite to Fight Coronavirus Pandemic) in both Vietnamese and English.

The song was composed by amateur writers Doctor Mạnh Thắng and teacher Trần Phương.

"As an artist, I think I have a responsibility to do something for the community even if it is a small thing," said Hà Linh. "I thought a lot about what I could do to help everyone in this difficult time. I'm not rich enough to donate billions of đồng, I can't cure people and I don't have time for charity work, so this was the answer."

She said she has been moved to see health workers and volunteers working tirelessly at hospitals and quarantine centres.

Doctor Thắng wrote the lyrics to spread basic knowledge about how to prevent COVID-19 and convey the message to believe in a bright future.

Despite many challenges, the whole world’s coming together to find a cure for corona, according to the lyrics.

Teacher and musician Phương and Linh worked together about ten years ago.

Linh won the 2007 Sao Mai Singing Contest. She is known for her powerful vocal and in 2014 she released her first album entitled Hồi Sinh (Revival).

She was the only female singer to participate at the Asian Music Festival 2019 in China. At the end of 2019, she released her latest album Nàng Thơ (Muse), which is the first in Việt Nam to combine jazz with recital.— VNS

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