Brian Imanuel, known by his musical pseudonym, “Rich Brian,” came onto the rap scene in 2016 with his debut single “Dat $tick.” The song was an instant hit, taking the number four spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The music video went viral for its eccentric style and the praise it received from famous rappers. Two years later, it has been viewed over 86 million times on YouTube alone.
Imanuel released several other singles in 2016, including “Who That Be” and “Seventeen”, both of which quickly surpassed one million hits on both YouTube and Soundcloud after their launches.
Born in Jakarta, Indonesia and speaking only his native tongue of Bahasa Indonesian, Imanuel learned English through American hip-hop and YouTube videos. At only 18 years old, Rich Brian is part of the new generation of rising young rappers in American hip-hop.
Immanuel recently dropped his debut project Amen (in interviews and on social media he does not refer to the production as an album). The project featured old fan favorites such as “Glow Like Dat” and “Chaos”. It also included newer songs, such as his latest single, “See Me” and “Amen”.
Amen features a number of guest artists including Offset, Niki, August 08 and the famous YouTuber turned music artist, Joji (aka Filthy Frank).
Rich Brian proved that he is more than just a one trick pony, as Amen highlights the wide range of his rap style. Songs like “Amen” and “Attention” (ft. Offset) showcased Brian’s harder raps; his baritone voice and the constant stream of fast-paced lyrics are entrancing. However, Imanuel showed an entirely different style in songs like “Introvert” (ft. Joji) and “Glow Like Dat”. These songs give a much more soft, mellow vibe, and his raps have a lighter timbre with a more melodic lilt to their delivery.
As for his lyrics, while Brian does spout the typical rapper stunts and flexes, he also raps about more personal topics, such as loneliness and his personal journey from an average teen to a growing rap icon.
With the release of the Amen project, Rich Brian is trying to prove that he’s here to stay.
“This project that I’m working on, I think it’s going to be an introduction to a more serious rap,” Imanuel said in an interview with XXL Magazine before the project’s debut. “There’s still going to be funny stuff. When you listen to it, you might still laugh and stuff, that’s cool. That’s what I’m going for too. But it’s not a joke. When people listen to it, they’re going to be like, ‘It’s that real sh**.’”