Suboi is a Vietnamese rapper, and she was asked to put her skills to the test in front of President Obama during his visit to Ho Chi Minh City. During his visit to Vietnam, The President of the United States stopped by Ho Chi Minh for a questions and answers session with Vietnamese youth, and Suboi saw fit to ask how important he believes arts and culture is to a nation. Mentioning she was a rapper before asking her question, Obama said he’d kindly answer her question, as long as she rapped for him first.
Rapping in Vietnamese about whether money can really bring happiness or not, Suboi was accompanied by some claps from the crowd during the performance of her acapella. Obama also beatboxed for a moment before her performance, but unfortunately didn’t keep it going while she was rapping. After performing the rap, she mentions how many people in Vietnam think that “rapping isn’t for women,” to which Obama says it’s a similar situation in America. “There’s always been sexism and gender stereotypes in the music industry, like every other part of life,” he added.
Impressed with her rapping, Obama answered her initial question, saying, “Artistic expression is important. Those are the things that inspire people.” He continued, “Sometimes art is dangerous, though, and that’s why governments sometimes get nervous about art. But one of the things I truly believe, is that if you try to suppress the arts, then I think you’re suppressing the deepest dreams and aspirations of the people.”
Watch Suboi’s rap and Obama’s answer above.