John “Vietnam” Nguyen was a son, a brother, a friend, an artist, and an inspirational leader of many communities. Born and raised in Chicago, he was proud of his heritage and the place he came from. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a proud Badger, and he represented all the parts of his identity wherever he went. He touched the lives of everyone around him and left his mark on this world. Today, we lost a family member. But we will not mourn. Instead, we will celebrate the life he lived, because he would have wanted us to.
John Vietnam Nguyen made his UVSA Midwest debut at the 9th annual Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference (VIA-1) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He performed with the Multicultural Youth Project at the VIA-1 Banquet. That night, his performance moved hearts. Heads were nodding along with his rhythm and fingers were snapping, expressing their understanding and their feelings for music, for his passion. John Vietnam has made a name for himself throughout Chicago, performing and reaching out to students at high schools and colleges in Illinois. Chicago was his home, and he made sure everyone knew that. John Vietnam had a passion for helping others, music, and his Vietnamese pride. His work was more than just hip hop; it was about culture, leadership and making the world a better place. He wanted to approach social justice issues through the means of hip hop, and he strives to do just that every day. He never sleeps, he rarely eats. For him, it was always about making music, making art that could change the world.
John Vietnam will always be a part of the UVSA Midwest family. Born and raised in the Midwest, he walked to the own beat of his drum and walked it loud and proud. He represented Chicagoans, Badgers, Midwesterners, and all Vietnamese people. He was always optimistic and always had a positive outlook on life. He looked at challenges and asked “why not”, he goes after his dreams head on, and he has inspired us all. We could only wish to have more days with him. But his legacy will forever live on. His music remains, his art instilled in our hearts. We will remember him, always.
May you Rest in Peace. John Vietnam Nguyen. You will be missed.
This is a screenshot of an email from John Vietnam and his encouraging words.
Monday Sept 3, Visitation: Noon – 9pm
Tuesday Sept 4, Visitation: 9am-11am
Eulogy and funeral to immediately follow
Instead of flowers, we request a donation to John’s charity in which he was involved: Children of Vietnam. A contribution can be made via paypal in John’s name: email@example.com (http://childrenofvietnam.org) or you can leave with the family at the funeral home.