Illustration by Trịnh Lập
by Nguyễn Mỹ Hà
Less than a week after rapper Đen Vâu released his latest music video titled Trốn tìm or Hide and Seek on YouTube, it topped 18 million views.
Netizens young and old alike have mimicked the trendy image of a man holding up a tree branch, or written creative, hilarious variations of his simple yet catchy lyrics. Browse through your social media feed and you'll be inundated with pictures of men holding up a tree branch.
The nostalgic lyrics, gentle music and his signature voice have touched the hearts of millions, including the elderly, who no longer play hide and seek, and young people, who feel they can never catch someone they loved.
The song features a melancholic tune that takes listeners on a journey to the romantic and rosy unhappy ended love affairs, or the unreachable dreams of shy and intimidated young men.
After starting as an underground and indie music artist, Đen Vâu has put out some huge hits, and only five months after his last and third million view video on YouTube, he has created a new trend for other artists and ordinary people to join.
Đen Vâu raps about the pure joy of childhood, happy and sans souci in a garden full of trees in full bloom.
In today's sophisticated entertainment world, Đen Vâu's videos can be utterly simple and inexpensive but they have enough character and edge to turn anyone's head.
But over time, adults can lookout for anything in the world, but try to escape from each other. "Wish I had a hammer to crack, I miss you so tense, my longing for you turns into cement," reads one line.
Đen Vâu has become the artist with the most trending videos on YouTube Việt Nam with 11 consecutive songs, overcoming Jack (10 songs). Simple yet honest truths and diverse rap on acoustic guitar with a catchy tune have been cited by fans and critics as key to his success.
Đen Vâu was quoted as saying: "When we were little, we ran around looking for other kids, we set out to seek for different goals; when we grow up: looking for yourself, for someone else to love, for success or for passion."
He sums up a person's life is like playing the hide and seek games we played during childhood, but they didn't stop there, we still play them well into adulthood.
The music video was launched on his 32nd birthday and the rapper said Hide and Seek was one of his most thoughtful works and took a week to record, the longest time for one of his songs.
By using the childhood game, his lyrics simplify the life of all humans and make eternal the feeling of running around looking for something you can never quite grasp.
Đen Vâu's videos always feature artists like Min, Justa Tee or Thành Đồng. And in all the videos, his collaborators get the chance to shine alongside his catchy beats and lyrics.
This song features the group MTV, adding to the bohemian style of the video.
It's not just adults who have relived their past in Đen Vâu's latest release. Surprisingly, students born in 2003, who will take their national high school exam this year, have even followed him for any hints in his latest video, because his music even made its way to the exam's questions.
Five months ago, before Tết (Lunar New Year festival), Đen Vâu also launched Đường về nhà (Road home), that captured millions of hearts. "The road home is the road to your heart," reads one line. Tết is a time for reunions, so the song went viral online and touched millions.
Đen Vâu has become an artist for people from all walks of life.
His tunes are sad and his messages tell simple truths. But netizens have made them less sad or even humorous.
"The sad loneliness of the adults is when they hide now, no one would want to seek for them," reads some of the lyrics.
"Thus sometimes we wish we grow back to childhood, so that when we run away and hide, we know someone would look for us."
No worries, reads a cartoon, if you are in Việt Nam now and try to hide away quarantine, loads of people would rush to look for you right away!
It's black humour, but truthful as Việt Nam has been gathering all its forces trying to contain COVID-19 with health staff working day and night.
A big thank you to all of them and we wish they can have a moment of well-deserved rest to listen to this song, yet still do their job and be successful in this fight.
We are at the height of this wave with more than 100 cases each day for a week now. Kudos to Việt Nam. VNS