Everything that I am about to say is just my personal opinion. Since I don’t live in Vietnam, it’s kind of hard for me to speak on the behalf of the entire population of Vietnam. However, I will do my best in explaining some of the Vietnamese sentiments that I have seen being expressed online.
On the topic of Sơn Tùng M-TP, I believe he is generally viewed positively these days. When I first started writing on this blog, however, there was a large vocal group of people that regarded M-TP as a Kpop copycat and believed his songs to be plagiarized. Because of this, I spent a good amount of time in the early days having to defend M-TP against all sorts of anti-fans. Through the years, M-TP’s popularity has continued to grow with anti-fans being increasingly outnumbered. I believe M-TP has proven himself with a steady run of hit songs that he isn’t just some wannabe copycat. After the massive success of Lạc Trôi – a very non-Kpop sounding Vietnamese song, it is now much harder for haters to say that M-TP’s success is due to him copying Kpop artists. There are still some haters that persist, but I believe M-TP has lived up to my proclamation (I was the first one to refer to him as the “prince of Vpop” back in 2015 BTW) that M-TP is a once in a generation talent who will become the most important figure in putting Vpop on the map. He is, after all, the biggest star Vpop has to offer and I would say most influential too. More Vietnamese people seem to have accepted that fact now.
On the topic of Bích Phương, I would say she is very well-liked by the Vietnamese people with little to no anti-fans. BP took a more traditional path in the Viet music industry. She studied music in college then went on to be a contestant on Vietnam Idol 2008 (top 40) and Vietnam Idol 2010 (top 7). After Vietnam Idol, BP became popular for singing pop ballads and sad love songs (genres that have been historically popular in Vietnam). In recent years, BP has become more indie pop with a focus on promoting Vietnamese culture in her MVs. For example, Nói Thương Nhau Thì Đừng Làm Trái Tim Em Đau is one of multiple MVs that BP made to promote Vietnamese culture in her “Vietnam Vietnam” project. BP seems to care more about the art of her work than popularity. She may not be the most mainstream artist, but it is hard not to respect her work when she is helping to showcase the culture of an ethnic minority like the Red Dao in Vietnam. Even as a more artsy singer, BP is still quite popular among the masses. I would compare BP to Florence + the Machine – popular and well-received but still somewhat on the outskirts of the mainstream conscious.
On the topic of Chi Pu, she easily is the most controversial figure on this list. Chi Pu got her start as a “hot girl” – the Vietnamese equivalent of being an Instagram model i.e. being famous and influential through the usage of social media. Most of her MVs on YouTube have a very high dislike to like ratio. The only exceptions seems to be her latest MV, which takes a more conservative, traditional approach to Vietnamese music. Like I wrote in my blog post about April comebacks, ANH ƠI Ở LẠI is a song that is much more aligned with traditional Vietnamese sentiments. Therefore, I am not surprised that it has been well-received by the Vietnamese audience. I am, however, a little bit surprised at just how little dislikes this MV has gotten compared to Chi Pu’s other works. Chi Pu is viewed as a “hot girl” who has no business singing by many people. So much so, that another popular Vietnamese singer once stated that she felt insulted by the influx of “hot girls” (aka Chi Pu) parading themselves as singers when they clearly lack the vocal talent and training to do so. I, myself, have been very critical of Chi Pu in the past. A lot of Chi Pu’s works have been all visual nonsense to distract from Chi Pu’s lack of vocal singing ability. Not only that, but Chi Pu has essentially marketed herself as a Korean Kpop Idol doing Vpop. Thus, Chi Pu has her fair share of anti-fans. But like myself, I believe most Vietnamese people are willing to give her a chance as long as she puts more effort in her music.
On the topic of Chi Pu’s racy 16+ MV, I would say the whole point was to shock. MỜI ANH VÀO was definitely an abnormal Vpop MV. For the most part, Vietnam has a very conservative culture. Pornography is banned in the country. That said, a lot of Vietnamese people are closet perverts IMO. The lewdest Facebook posts that I see in my feed always seem to come from friends and family members living in Vietnam. Perhaps, they are just sexually suppressed and frustrated. I don’t know. I come from a Catholic Vietnamese family, so my views maybe warped from the average Vietnamese person living in Vietnam since most aren’t Catholic. But, I do feel Vietnamese people tend to value cuteness and the “pure” woman over the raunchiness and lewdness shown by Chi Pu in this MV. Just judging by the YouTube comments, I would say most of the viewers are under that age of 21 who came for the tits and stayed for the tits.