Indonesian rapper Rich Chigga, who initially saw viral fame with his song Dat $tick before a rapid transition into being a very serious, very appreciated artist in 2017, has officially changed his performing nom-de-plume to Brian and dropped a new track named See Me.
Ever since he started finding acclaim for his genuinely fire tracks instead of his comedy, the name Rich Chigga was greeted with a little bit of general opposition, for obvious reasons. He admitted all the way back in 2016 that he thought it was “corny”.
rich chigga is a fuckin corny ass name y did i think it was ok. why did i let this happen
— Rich Brian (@richbrian) April 13, 2016
“I do regret it,” he told The New Yorker in an interview last year. “I didn’t really know what I was doing and I definitely did not know people were gonna pop off like this.”
As New Yorker writer Wei Tchou writes, it’s a fraught issue of identity. Of course his name is in (deliberately) close proximity to a racial slur, which is a big problem for a non-black artist. But, as she points out, a teenager from Jakarta learning English from YouTube likely wouldn’t have the same appreciation of the fraught racial and cultural history of the United States – which he’s clearly aware of now.
Brian, whose full actual name is Brian Imanuel, announced the move on Twitter.
Yes I now go by “Brian”. I have been planning to do this forever and I’m so happy to finally do it. I was naive & I made a mistake. new year, new beginning, happy new years™️
— Rich Brian (@richbrian) January 1, 2018
Anyway. New Year, New Brian. Here’s his new track, which is quite good: