THE LiFTED 50 NUMBER 3: RICH BRIAN
The young superstar is poised to dominate Asian Hip Hop for a long time
When trying to come up with the top of the top of the top of Asian Hip Hop, there was a lot of discussion about who should be placed where. Jay Park is the true OG. DIVINE has blow-your-mind numbers and changed India’s path in Hip Hop. At 22, Rich Brian is the young buck of the top three, has a very interesting come-up story, and will probably be number one in the years to come. Being the face of 88rising, which has done so much for Asian Hip Hop in such a short time, is a great space to be in.
Getting his introduction to Hip Hop by ‘Thrift Shop’ by Macklemore, Brian started rhyming into his iPhone mic over MF Doom instrumentals. Soon, Brian had an offensive MC name and became internet famous with the release of ‘Dat $tick,’ which has racked up 200 million views to date. 88rising produced an amazing reaction video, and Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan jumped on the remix. Not a bad way to start off a Hip Hop career as a 17-year-old.
By 2018, Brian changed his name to Rich Brian, stating to Genius, “I was basically just trying to make people less sensitive to the word, and take the power out of that word, but then I realized I’m totally not in a position to do that. I just don’t say it anymore.”
Nowadays, his teenage slipup is forgiven, and Brian is the number one star of 88rising’s global takeover. With two studio albums, two EPs, and a ton of features with huge names like XXXTentacion, Keith Ape, Kris Wu, Trippie Redd, DJ Snake, Rick Ross, and more, the sky's the limit for Rich Brian. His song ‘Run It’ from the Shang Chi and the Legend of 10 Rings soundtrack was the lead single for the second highest-grossing movie of 2022. Brian has been the headliner at the Head in the Clouds festivals, as well as was the anchor of their 2022 Coachella performance. He was the first Asian artist to have 10 million monthly streams on Spotify, and he’s even dabbling in acting. By changing his name, Rich Brian has manifested big paychecks, a great career for himself, and a spot in the top three [and rising] of Asian Hip Hop.