Rich Brian may have been born in Jakarta, but he sounds like he grew up on the block with the whole Odd Future gang. The rapper was a viral social media star at 11 years old, then moved into hip-hop five years later. His 2016 cut "Dat $tick" clicked with rap fans around the world—the tune's bleak, warped beat, punchy cadences and dark rhymes tapped into the same zeitgeist that made Tyler, the Creator an anti-hero superstar. Singles like "Gospel", featuring the controversial XXXTENTACION, were intense peeks into what was to come: Rich Brian's official debut album, 2018's Amen.
In 2019, Rich Brian released his latest album, "The Sailor". On The Sailor, Rich Brian is not only feeling the sea change, but motion sickness too. The Sailor is a literal and metaphorical expression of a young man who is observing his own changing-self in the greater context of today’s world.
Growing up homeschooled in Indonesia, Brian found the Internet to be his English teacher and window to the world beyond. After moving to America alone at the age of 17, Brian has been both awed and humbled by his experiences, as they simultaneously smack him down to Earth and lift him up. 2 years later, Rich Brian has come a long way.
“The Sailor is a symbol of being an explorer.” Brian says. “Of exploring uncharted territory and just going through life, curious. It’s my own story as well as the story of all immigrants that brave new worlds for a chance at something better.”
After moving to America, Brian has experienced all the glory of “making it” - from collaborating with the likes of 21 Savage, Offset, and Playboi Carti, to selling out shows and playing festivals around the world. Brian’s debut project Amen, released in February 2018, garnered widespread critical acclaim and topped the iTunes Hip-Hop charts - a first in history for an Asian musician.
Making an album that was written with real instruments in real time in the studio was the antidote to the paralysis of overthinking. The Sailor is pure – clear in motivation and self-awareness. The intent was to inspire others like Brian to be curious - to see what else there is to see.
Rich Brian Essentials