Peep Milk's Fav Vietnamese Rapper Slam Music Industry Sexism W/ Obama
Rhyme slinger Suboi is at it again. Since Milk last chatted with Vietnam’s first huge female rapper in March, the 26-year-old has continued to take the world by storm, spouting unforgiving freestyles that keep parties turnt while simultaneously prompting discourses on social issues.
This time, the creative known for politically-influenced tunes like “Đời” and “Run,” attended a Q&A session with President Barack Obama for young leaders in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The purpose of the event was to strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and, unsurprisingly, Suboi was as unafraid as ever, taking a moment to address, and subsequently shut down, gender stereotypes in the music industry.
It all started with Obama asking her to perform “a little rap” for him and the crowd. “In Vietnamese or English?” Suboi asked. “Vietnamese, of course!” Obama said, before offering a little snippet of his beatboxing skills.
Suboi took no time to wait; she dove head first into an Acapella freestyle that Obama may not have understood, but certainly enjoyed. When she was done, he asked what she had rapped about. “I was just talking about some people having a lot of money, having big houses, but actually, are they really happy?” she said. Then she went on to address the stereotypes asian rappers—and especially asian female rappers—must endure.
“For Vietnamese people, they think rapping is not for women,” Suboi said. To which Obama replied, “That’s true for people in the United States too. There’s always been sexism and gender stereotypes in the music industry like in every other part of life.”
It was a pretty epic moment, which you can watch in full below.
Suboi is spearheading gendered oppression in not only her homeland, but in the entire, international music biz as well. And Obama seems to be in agreement with her on this one—any nation that suppresses the arts is, in turn, suppressing the dreams and aspirations of its citizens.
“I’m not against the government, but there’s something you have to do when they don’t care about you,” Suboi told Milk in an interview earlier this year. “[Female artists] have to look after each other.”
For more Suboi, check out our interview with her here.
All photos shot exclusively for Milk by John Tsiavis.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on our favorite Vietnamese rapper.