Fans of Indonesian rapper Rich Chigga woke up to big news at the start of the year: that their satirical gangster rap hero had dropped a new song titled See Me, and that he was ditching the stage name Rich Chigga in favor of … Brian.
The rapper, whose real name is Brian Imanuel, will now go simply by his first name. Following “Dat $tick,” his 2016 viral sensation that both boosted his popularity and cemented his reputation as a satirical hip hop artist (even though Ghostface Killah declared the track to be “dope” and eventually featured it in a new mix), Brian has expressed his desire to be taken more seriously in the biz and felt his old name wasn’t helping.
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™️
— Brian (@iambrianimanuel) January 1, 2018
Indeed, Brian has been mulling the name change for a while. In an interview with XXL Magazine published on September 2016, he said of the Rich Chigga name: “The name is something I came up with a long ass time ago and I didn’t know what I was doing. I know a lot of people are offended by it, but at the same time a lot of people don’t really care and fuck with it. I don’t think that it should matter that much but it’s understandable if it offends people. I’m definitely not making fun of hip-hop.”
Coinciding with the name change, Brian released See Me, which contains more personal lyrics than much of his previous rhymes. The song is slated to appear in his upcoming album, AMEN, which is out Feb. 2 worldwide.
Brian is arguably Indonesia’s most exciting musical export in recent years, but it remains to be seen if he will be seen as a satirical one-hit wonder or if his more serious approach will gain him even greater respect in the hip hop industry.
Paywall: You’re outta here, Coconuts stories are free for all
We have removed our paywall on all Coconuts stories. This does not mean the end of COCO+ Membership at all, but the value proposition is changing.
Rather than being a transactional subscription – whereby you pay for access to content – it is now a true membership program – whereby Coconuts stories are free for everyone but super-fans can monetarily support our independent journalism, and get added member benefits.
If you'd like to support Coconuts, you can become a COCO+ Member for as little as US$5 per year. Thank you!