Sunday, 15/10/2023 08:12

Rapper from the mountain sets new trend in contemporary music

Illustration by Trịnh Lập

by Nguyễn Mỹ Hà

I have a confession to make: I have never been a rap fan, and nor did I think I would ever be one. But things change. I have totally fallen in love with the music of Double2T, winner of the Rap Viet, third season, over the past few weeks. 

Born Bùi Xuân Trường in Tuyên Quang Province, this 27-year-old ethnic Tày man set out on a mission to spread the values and qualities, customs and traditions of different ethnic minority groups living in the mountains where he grew up.

Having finished high school and working as a hairdresser to fund his music dreams, Trường first tried hip-hop dance in secondary school.

His rap journey has not been easy, as through the three rounds of the competition, he almost dropped out twice, but was saved by some of the best producers in the field, including B Ray, Big Daddy and Justa Tee.

These producers/ trainers saw potential in the young rapper and could not let him slip away, despite other great competitors

Double2T, as he named himself after the Tuyên Quang zip-code of 22, brought new life to the competition as he was shy, modest and passionate about what he was doing.

His first hit À lôi, in the Tày language means "Oh my God". It was produced by Masew, and has 27 million views on YouTube. The song's name has become trendy and everyone, not just young people and rap fans, now listens to the song and says the words "À lôi."

Double2T has taught people across the country to speak his familiar idioms in Thái, Tày or Mông languages. "Người miền núi chất" is what he wants everyone to know about him: A Mountain Man of Qualities. 

In a country where mountains make up three-fourths of its territory, they used to be the traditional living space of people of different ethnicities: the Mông, Tày, Nùng, Dao in the northern mountains, and the Ê Đê, Bahnar, Gia Rai and M'nông in the Central Highlands.

People living in the mountains have always been known as free-loving spirits, who have their own great music, great voices, and some of the best singers in the country.

Life in the mountains can be tough, and the dignity of the people is solemn and refined. This mentality coincides with Justa Tee, one of the competition producers, who has a magic talent to work with artists to churn out big hits, as MC Trấn Thành said on the show. 

To become a winner of this Rap Viet competition, Double2T had to be lifted up by the big guys in the industry, who taught him and lifted his work to a new level after each round.

This year's theme of the competition was to give the Vietnamese music scene a boost and make it known worldwide. They might just have nailed it. 

After the competition, Double2T had a touching homecoming where he walked straight to the house kitchen to find his mother and both started crying.

Before the competition, he flew to Hồ Chí Minh City for the first time in his life, and learned that his father had a health complication. This could have wrecked his morale, but, Double2T worked hard, and tried his best, hoping for his father to get well again, which he did. 

A whole new path has opened up before this talented rapper, and he has made Tuyên Quang people proud. He will teach the rest of the country to say words in Tày, Nùng, Dao and Mông languages.

Right after winning the competition, Double2T and Hòa Minzy released a new track, where they teach the whole country to say I love you in the Tày language.

The hit Chài Điếp Noọng (I Love You) has more than 2.2 million views on YouTube. Produced by DuongK, the team said their first month's earnings on all online platforms would be used to bring electricity to a remote hamlet in the mountains. 

Double2T has not forgotten his roots. This man of mountain qualities has started a new journey in life: giving back to where he came from. VNS 

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