Hot in, so hot in herre! Like the classic Nelly dance song Hot In Herre, Sambi and Mr. A are hoping to get the party started with their latest song Như Cái Lò (NCL). Produced and composed by hit maker Khắc Hưng and rapper Mr. A, NCL wants to be that club banger that makes every party lit af. It is a hard hitting song with simple lyrics. For those who don't listen to a lot of American pop music, NCL may be a song that is hard to stomach. It is a song that is very American in style. American club songs aren't the most awe-inspiring pieces of work. They are usually rather simplistic in nature with a good dosage of explicit content.
When NCL was first teased, I was quite worried. It was teased as a Min X Erik project, and I felt that a club banger, explicit style of music would not work for Min and Erik. It is a style of music that doesn't suit them in my opinion. Furthermore, it would almost be a complete 180-degree departure from the teenage friendly pop/ballad style that made Min and Erik popular in the first place. Luckily, NCL turned out to be a Sambi X Mr. A song with Min and Erik only having small guest appearances in the MV. Crisis averted. The last thing I wanted to see was both Min and Erik committing career suicide by releasing a song that had "controversial" written all over it.
Since it's release, NCL has had its fair share of negative comments and dislikes. Currently, the YouTube dislikes on NCL is almost twice the number of likes. It really doesn't surprises me that so many people are up in arms over this MV. Producer Khắc Hưng pushed his luck too far and flew too close to the sun. Now he's feeling the heat. NCL is being promoted as a sequel to the hit Min X Erik song Ghen. It is supposed to tell viewers why Min and Erik were so "ghen" (jealous) of each other. My best guess is that Erik was so ♫ ghen ghen ghen ghen mà ♫ because Min didn't pick up her phone because she was too busy attending a rager
of an orgy, I mean party, that was depicted in this MV.
I can understand if some fans are upset that Khắc Hưng's PR team pulled a classic bait-and-switch scam here -- teasing a new Min X Erik MV and then leaving them with a product that really shouldn't be called Ghen 2. Instead, call it what it is. It's Khắc Hưng trying to promote a new, unproven artist named Sambi by riding the coattails of the success of Ghen. That much I can understand. All the other hate that NCL gets is maybe a little too much.
American-style club music isn't a thing in Vietnam. There's a different type of club music in Vietnam. It's called Vina house. If you don't know what Vina House is, I would describe it as the Vietnamese version of Eurodance. Here is where Min and Erik lucked out. Khắc Hưng was clearly itching to enter the unexplored territory of American-style club music within the Vpop music scene. Instead of Min or Erik, Khắc Hưng instead used newbie singer Sambi as his guinea pig, and the ensuing shitstorm that followed was left to poor little Sambi to deal with. I feel bad for the girl. Walking into a shitstorm is not what you want to do as a brand new singer.
NCL isn't a bad song, but I understand why so many Vietnamese people would hate it. I see a lot of people complain that the lyrics are too generic and that the video is too explicit. NCL doesn't fit into the old conservative culture of Vietnam. Vietnam is a country where slow love ballads are king, and NCL is the direct opposite of that.
Because I have lived in America all my life where "bad" pop songs just so happen to be the most popular songs, I get the direction that NCL is taking. I grew up with songs like the Thong Song by Sisqo being played on the radio and TV non-stop. Talk about a lyrically ridiculous and explicit song. ♫ That thong thong thong thong thong. ♫ I can only imagine what a Vietnamese netizen would say about the "Thong Song." Eventually, you learn to not care about how stupid a song is because sometimes it's fun to go stupid f*cking dumb like in the Frontliner song Loud. Not everything has to be super emotional or thought provoking.
I also see a lot of people complaining that NCL is too similar to this or that song/MV (specifically Bass Down Low by Dev in this case). The two things that popped into my mind when I first saw NCL was Bảnh Bao by Mr. A and Kill Bill because of the Ironside siren sound. Just because something is similar to something else, I don't believe that is a reason to hate. Every person should be allowed to use everything they have seen/heard before in their life to shape their own work. Michael Jackson wasn't the first person to do the moonwalk. Allen Iverson wasn't the first person to do a crossover. Beethoven wasn't the first person to play the piano. Everyone is influenced by the works that came before them. Like in writing, where it's only plagiarism when there's a clear word for word usage without quotation, accusations of song plagiarism should have similar standards. In my opinion, a musician can legally/ethnically sample another song and have a similar style or sound to another song without it being plagiarism. No one owns the monotone, club banger singing style that female artists like Dev and Ke$ha employ.
Everyone seems to be out on Sambi, but I'm willing to give her a chance. I like Sambi's willingness to come out swinging for the fences on her debut song even if that meant striking out. She could have played it safe and released a pop ballad song. Instead, Sambi came out looking like a Mini-Min with a little bit of Lady Gaga freakiness to boot. While everyone is selling on Sambi, I'm buying up all the Sambi stock that I can find. There's enough there in Sambi that I believe she can make this new school Vpop singer thing work.