** Name changed within article from Rich Chigga to Rich Brian at the request of the artist**
I want to be transparent: when I decided I wanted to review Rich Brian, I didn’t know much about him. As far as I knew, he was just a cheeky Asian guy who managed to pull a 21 Savage feature. “What do I have to wear for this? Am I gonna have to mosh?” I asked my friend as I got ready for the show, queuing up Brian’s full Spotify discography and skimming a Fader article. With that, I figured I was ready to go.
The show was at the Fonda Theatre, a classic Hollywood staple. My friend and I shuffled in amidst the crowd, unable to make it anywhere near the press section amidst all the eager fans. The openers, Don Krez and Duckwrth drew crowds in their own right (Duckwrth gave a phenomenal performance), but everyone felt the audience surge as Rich Brian finally came on stage.
“Brian, Brian, BRIAN, BRIAN!”
From the moment the crowd started chanting, I realized I was in over my head. Brian Imanuel, at just barely 18-years old, has a dedicated following. Brian, otherwise known as Rich Brian, does not just draw casual fans. As a video of the rapper’s staring face appeared on the screen, the crowd went wild, pushing forward just to watch the video occasionally blink as the music slowly started to build. When Rich Brian finally came out to perform, I swear I briefly lost hearing in one ear. The audience absolutely loved him.
The Fonda was full of total Rich Chigga stans, rapping along to every lyric of songs that as far as I know are only on Youtube. The young rapper echoed all of the crowd’s enthusiasm, giving an energetic performance from start to finish, his songs equal parts serious rap and Childish Gambino-esque jokes. “Glow Like Dat” and “Chaos” were clear crowd favorites, but it made little difference what Rich Chigga performed - regardless, fans could not get enough. Despite only knowing the words to his viral hit, “Dat $tick,” which he saved for the end, I jumped around until my feet hurt. I wasn’t sure I was into Rich Chigga before the show started; safe to say, I have been converted. With a debut album on the way, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
PHOTO BY HOTNEWHIPHOP
BY ALANA MOSKOWITZ, DJ