LA Times on Chosen1 & Vpop

In the LA Times’ Hanoi Heart Throbs, Andrew Vontz on English-language rap in the Vietnamese diaspora:

Although Japan, China and South Korea boast thriving music scenes with CDs produced locally, almost all of the world’s Vpop comes out of Little Saigon. The music spans genres, from rap to rock to R&B. But more often than not, Vpop gives a nod to the old-country ballads of Vietnam.

Chosen 1 (a.k.a. Victor Nguyen), whose parents fled their country in a leaky fishing boat in 1979, says he’ll never forget appearing last summer at a festival in Carthage, Mo. “About 100,000 Vietnamese people came from all over America,” he says. “It was insane, like a Vietnamese Woodstock.”

“The English thing I have easy—I can freestyle and everything,” he says. “Now I’m trying to learn how to rap in Vietnamese.

“My main focus is to hit up the Vietnamese market and then the pan-Asian market and then the American market,” he adds.

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