Suboi is considered the first successful Vietnamese female rapper. She is known as the Queen of Hip Hop in her own country. Rap music was not popular when she grew up in Vietnam.
Born Trang Anh Hang Lam to a middle class family in Saigon, her mother worked for the Australian consulate and her father was a factory manager. Eminem had a great influence on Suboi during her teenage years. Before listening to Eminem, Will Smith’s song from the Men In Black II soundtrack titled “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head).” These two artists motivated her to rap on the mic and express herself freely. Other artists that influences her musically include Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg.
Listening to hip hop taught her how to speak English and improve her lyrical flow. She joked that her vocabulary is rude and filled with curse words. Hip hop is filled with curse words depending on who people are listening to. Everyone learns differently and it take some people longer to develop their vocabulary skills.
Suboi has evolved from a shy tomboy into becoming Vietnam’s first successful female hip hop artist influencing other young Vietnamese people to express themselves through this powerful artform we call hip hop. Most importantly, the thing I respect about her is the ability to speak her mind and stay relevant to issues affecting young people. Since hip hop is a global phenomenon, it will motivate many more young people to express themselves towards the society we live in despite censorship from the Vietnamese government. That is the job of a hip hop artist. It will only get better with time.
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