08/16/2017 by Julia van der Doesch
Brian Imanuel (born September 21, 1999), better known by his stage name Rich Chigga, is an Indonesian rapper and comedian from Jakarta. He is best known for his viral debut single “Dat $tick”, which was released in March 2016.
Brian Imanuel was born on September 21, 1999, in Jakarta, Indonesia to parents of Chinese-Indonesian descent. He has four siblings. Imanuel was raised in West Jakarta in a lower class neighbourhood. He never had a formal education as he was homeschooled. In 2010, while growing up in Indonesia, Imanuel began his career with social media, when he was at the age of 11. He first started posting some dark comedy videos that often became a lampoon for the American culture that he consumed in the form of online videos on the platform Vine. He taught himself to speak English by watching YouTube videos and by listening to rappers like Childish Gambino, 2 Chainz, Macklemore and Tyler, The Creator.
2015–16: Career beginnings
Imanuel first released his debut track, titled “Living the Dream” on July 17, 2015 on his YouTube account. The song was produced by DJ Smokey. Imanuel then went on to release his debut single “Dat $tick” on February 22, 2016. The track caught international success after a reaction video was released, featuring American rappers Ghostface Killah, 21 Savage, Tory Lanez, MadeinTYO, Desiigner and many more. “Dat $tick” then went on to peak at number four on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles.
Imanuel then went on to release his second single titled “Who That Be” on iTunes on August 9, 2016. The song was produced by Sihk. He then released the remix of his single “Dat $tick” which features Ghostface Killah and Pouya.
Imanuel later released his third single “Seventeen” which quickly surpassed the one million hits mark on both YouTube and SoundCloud.
2017–present: Debut album
Imanuel started his first U.S tour in April 2017, concluding in May. In May 2017, Imanuel released the single “Gospel” with XXXTentacion and Keith Ape. This was XXXTentacion’s first collaboration with Rich Chigga and the song was released on 88rising. The single has 14 million views on YouTube as of August 2017.
Imanuel won an award at 4th Indonesian Choice Awards as Breakthrough Artist of the Year in May 2017. Imanuel announced his debut album in an interview with XXL, saying ““I’m working on a debut project and there are some serious songs and some comedic stuff, but the serious songs are my focus.” In an interview with The Jakarta Post, Imanuel said he was spending most of his stay in Los Angeles, California working on his debut album.
Imanuel currently lives in Los Angeles, California due to anti-Chinese protests in Jakarta following the sentencing of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. He doesn’t permanently live in the United States though in July 2017, he extended his stay.
Imanuel’s stage name “Rich Chigga” has created controversy in the past. Talking about his stage name, Imanuel said “I do regret it — I didn’t really know what I was doing and I definitely did not know people were gonna pop off like this”
Imanuel was homeschooled and has said that he doesn’t want to enroll in college, though if given the chance, he’d attend film school.