Indonesian Rap Prodigy: Rich Brian

The 19-year-old rapper’s career knows only one way, and that’s up.


A familiar beat comes to mind when talking about the following rapper that’s currently very much on the rise. Brian Imanuel was born in Jakarta, September 3rd 1999; this Chinese-Indonesian descent is the youngest of 4 sibs. Just like every creative mind out there, Brian’s interest in music started as such a young age during his home schooling years. He would sneak into his parent’s laptop to open YouTube where he listened to Childish Gambino, 2 Chainz, Macklemore and Tyler, the creator.
Initially went by the name “Rich Chigga”, Brian finally changed his stage name with his real name. In an interview with in 2018, Brian confessed that, “Rich Chigga isn’t me anymore. Being in the States made me realize that I wanted to make the change.” From Jakarta to Los Angeles is quite a leap of faith one could do, but it obviously worked for this 19-year-old rapper. Rising through the viral ranks with the controversial moniker, as Billboard said, Brian finally released his debut album on early February 2018 titled Amen.

Dat $tick originally thought as a crossover of mockery towards hip-hop culture, but it also proves Brian’s music quality as the single peaked at no.4 of Bilboard’s Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles back in 2016. As of now, the video itself has been viewed for over 113m, and counting. His ratatat flow becomes one of his trademarks, a quality that impresses Cam’Ron, 21 Savage, Desiigner, and Ghostface Killah, among many others. Since 11 years old, Brian has been active on social media, from Twitter, Vine, to YouTube. It was through watching countless videos that Brian self-taught how to speak English. He began to listen to hip hop since 2012, Macklemore’s Thrift Shop. 
Style wise, from Dat $tick you can already see his trademark. As you can see from his 2.3 million followers Instagram account, he has a particular style and vibe only he can put together. That what sets him apart in terms of style. Chilled, laid back, don’t give a damn kind of vibe puts him in the “cool “ list.
The rap and music itself was light to ear and instantly became everybody’s favorite. His musical style is considered “ironic” by UrbanDaddy though it “eventually transcends itself to become a legitimate piece of art.” His vocal is gruff, yet agile and unique. Writing ability? No doubt one of the genius. With 88rising as his management, Brian thrives to create more comedic music.
These past few years, he’s been touring all over America, Paris, Germany, London, Australia and New Zealand, even shared a stage with Post Malone. At Bonnaroo fest, he shared the stage with big names such as Eminem, Dua Lipa, The Muse, Khalid and many more. He also appeared in James Corden’s Late Late Show and performed his song called Amen. He is recorded as 30 Under 30 Forbes Asia Edition. Also, he is the one and only Indonesian artist who had ever made it to Top 20 Chart Billboard 200. All achievements unlocked while he’s not even 20 years old. We know, we’re in awe as well.
Writer: Ervina Michelle Liem
Editor: Olivia Elena Hakim&Galuh Tathya

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