88rising formerly known as CXSHXNLY, is an all encompassing media company founded by Sean Miyashiro. The imprint includes a record label, video production and marketing division. Viral internet sensations, Rich Brian and Joji (who is famously known for starting the Harlem Shake viral dance meme circa 2013), were the first signees. 88rising primarily creates content around Asian culture and Hip Hop whom have somehow morphed into becoming ‘The United Nations of music,’ (as Sway wittingly stated).
Let me explain.
Individually speaking, Joji is Japanese and White. Then we move on to the homeschooled Indonesian rapper, Rich Brian (formerly known as Rich Chigga) who explains how he learned English by watching YouTube videos. During his sit-down interview with Sway, he states:
“One day I was just thinking about something and I realized I was thinking in English…so every time I’m like by myself, I like to talk to myself to practice my pronunciation.”
This guy has been through the ringer while doing media pit stops in the Hip Hop world. From my previous story of Big Boy grilling him for his previous rap name and now Sway, who will never let anyone wack come to his show — couldn’t stop laughing as he asks him,
“This is Rich Brian, formerly known as Rich Chigga. Right?”
The thing is, Rich Brian could actually rap. But some past listeners (understandably) took offense at an Indonesian kid satirizing rap cliché’s in his viral track ‘Dat $tick‘ and calling himself ‘Rich Chigga‘. The soundcloud famous rapper replies,
“Yeah that was my old name…But I changed it because I felt that, that was just not cool.”
Now that’s all cleared up Long Beach native, August 08 (Pronounced: August-Eight) who accompanied Rich Brian on the show stepped in to say, “When I came through we had to press some lines and be like, ‘yo bro’…we had to clear it up because the crew gotta be right.”
With all that said and done, Rich Brian and August 08 came by to promote their latest album release with 88rising titled, Head In The Clouds. The album has been called ‘the Summer record’ by multiple artists and everyone involved in 88rising, but just because it’s in the top running of a fan fave, doesn’t mean that all tracks were a hit. Unfortunately, some were a miss. The album dropped with major features like Keith Ape on the track ‘Japan 88‘ and GoldLink on ‘Nothing Wrong‘ — but overall, I have to give props to the fact that the collective managed to vary the album
Although Rich Brian’s slow climb to fame won’t get him a pass when it comes to his previous name (Rich Chigga), the creative collective that makes up 88 Rising just might help ease things out for him in the Hip Hop world and although there are a large number of people that still don’t approve of his stance in the music world, for the time being, he’s still Rich Chigga to his fans.
Whether you like it or not, his fans are an ever growing audience who are hungry for more releases from emerging talent like himself, around the world.