Snatched. Slain. Murdered. These are what I had become after experiencing Rich Brian’s show at 170 Russell Street, Melbourne.
Rich Brian has built himself a huge following and a great reputation around the globe. He started making video skits and posting them on Twitter before he wrote, produced, and released his music material onto YouTube in 2015. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned tickets to some of his shows in Australia and overseas had sold out. It should come to no surprise, especially now that the rapper has worked with artists such as Diplo, Charli XCX, Ghostface Killah, Baauer, and Kris Wu.
Shantan Wantan Ichiban opened the night with a heavy set of bangers and mash-ups. He is a well known DJ and a charismatic presenter on Triple J, but for tonight, he was a gallant knight of the round turntable. The part-time elbow model knew his audience well by mixing tracks by Drake, Migos, and Cardi B into his set, accompanied by a hilarious back drop drop of a e s t h e t i c memes from the internet. It would be cruel to describe Mr. Ichiban as a ‘warm-up’ act, not only because he was straight fire, but because he also provided the sound for supporting act NIKI and the man himself, Rich Brian.
NIKI then took to the stage and provided a wonderful set of songs from her repertoire. She performed heartfelt ballads and edgy hits, while also commanding the stage with her presence. She is an artist who has also come from Indonesia, and from 88rising, the same record company as Rich Brian. NIKI certainly captured the attention of the audience, some of whom were standing in the mosh pit singing along to her songs.
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Shantan again hypes the hundreds of guests with a brief set before the main act. SWI gets the crowd going with heavy chants and making sure we’re all feeling good. He is not only the DJ or ‘the sound guy’, he is also the hype man, a rapper, and a beautiful beast. Just when I thought we were as wild as we were going to get, Rich Brian comes out, and the audience goes ballistic. The energy in the room increases tenfold and the heat in the atmosphere starts to rise even higher. People are screaming. They dance, sweat, rap along, and some even attempt to twerk in the middle of the mosh pit.
In between songs, Rich Brian dials the tone down and interacts with the audience. He talks a bit about his experience in Australia and his life in general. Someone yells out he partake in the ancient Australian tradition of a “Shoey”, but unfortunately, he declines. He has to perform a show every night this week before flying back to America!
Rich Brian continues wowing the crowd with his incredible skills. He breathes out straight fire while the crowd are the fan to his flames. Three years ago, Rich Brian began teaching himself English by listening to his rap idols Childish Gambino, Macklemore, 2 Chainz, and Tyler, The Creator. Now, he is an international rapping icon, performing all around the world.
Sadly, the show comes to an end and he leaves the stage. The crowd wails to an empty stage, “ONE MORE SONG”, and as if God himself had come down to answer their prayers, Rich Brian comes back onto the stage to perform an encore of “Dat $tick”, the song that launched his career to international success.
Asian Pop Radio would like to thank 88rising and 170 Russell Street. We also warmly thank Livenation and for their continued gratuitous support.
Written by: Jhube Veradio
Photos by: Jhube Veradio