Controversy heats up over steamy performances at HCMC hip-hop concert

By Hoang Nguyen   November 14, 2022 | 06:23 am PT
The 11th anniversary concert of famous Vietnamese hip-hop collective SpaceSpeakers, called KOSMIK, has generated controversy over some performances that some have deemed “too sexy.”

At Saturday night’s concert with 5000 fans in attendance, as singer Justatee performed, a dancer in a tight leather outfit gyrated on the piano. Then she stepped down, tied the singer’s hands behind the chair, blindfolded him and made steamy movements with other male dancers.

During rapper Rhymastic’s performance with special guest B-wine, a female dancer slapped the rapper’s butt. Other dancers blew kisses, flirted with stage security and continuously provoked the crowd with suggestive moves, while male dancers twerked away in unisex outfits.

The climax of the concert came when rapper Binz performed with a foreign female dancer in a see-through, flimsy lingerie. At the end of the song, Binz poured beer on her body and the audience screamed in excitement.

"I really like this concert because it took me back to the past with nostalgic songs. But some of the performances went over the top with their adult content," Mai Tuan Anh commented on Facebook. "It was a show that one shouldn’t let kids see... It was way too sexy."

"SpaceSpeakers have many young fans that are under 18. I think they should consider their influence on young people the next time they think about doing a show like this," commented another Facebook user Xuan Linh.

Rapper Binz performs with a foreign dancer on November 12, 2022. Photo courtesy of SpaceSpeakers

Rapper Binz performs with a foreign dancer on November 12, 2022. Photo courtesy of SpaceSpeakers

Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Culture and Sports said Monday evening that the program showed signs of violating the country’s customs and traditions and "negatively affecting social morality." Some performances have been considered offensive and undermining traditional cultural values, she said.

"We have assigned the department’s inspector to handle this violation according to regulations and will disseminate information to increase awareness among individuals and organizations participating in art activities," she added.

A government regulation prohibits events that "use outfits, words, sounds, images, movements, means of expression, performances that go against fine customs and traditions of Vietnam and negatively impacting morality, public health and psycho-social well-being."

A representative of SpaceSpeakers said they had warned the audience in advance.

"Prior to the event, SpaceSpeakers stated clearly on the media that the show is for people who are over 18, " the rep said. "If any parents bring children under 18, they would have to accept responsibility for the child, or they won’t be allowed to enter.

Many audience members found no problem with the sexy performances, They said they found it quite appealing.

"They didn’t cross any line in this concert because there was no nudity. I think the sexy dancers added a lot of spice to the performances," Facebook user Pham Anh commented.

"What do they expect? It’s a hip-hop concert. Rappers are often associated with expensive cars, jewelry and hot women. No one who’s a hip-hop fan should be surprised when they see sexy dancers and big gold chains at a rapper’s performance. It’s the culture," wrote another Facebook user Dung Nguyen.

SpaceSpeakers was founded in 2011 by renowned Vietnamese music producer Touliver. Since then, it has established itself as the biggest musical collective in Vietnam, helping to popularize the hip-hop and R&B genres in the country. In 2020, the entertainment company SpaceSpeakers Group was founded.

Its current roster includes Touliver, singer Kimmese, dancer Cường Seven, singer JustaTee, producer TINLE, rapper Rhymastic, singer SOOBIN, rapper Binz, producer Triple D, DJ SlimV and music video director Kien Ung.

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