The Jakarta Post
(from left to right) Scott Vener, Rich Chigga and Pharrell Williams. (instagram.com/brianimanuel/File)
Jakarta-born rap star Brian Immanuel, whose stage name is Rich Chigga, said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that his decision to relocate to Los Angeles was driven by his family's fear of possible anti-Chinese riots, which could have feasibly erupted during the campaign to prosecute former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja "Ahok" Purnama.
In May this year, the North Jakarta District Court sentenced Ahok to two years in prison for blasphemy.
"There are riots and stuff. Recently, people have been getting shot more often. It's pretty scary." Immanuel said in the interview, published on Wednesday.
Immanuel, whose rise to fame was propelled by YouTube-oriented singles like "Living the Dream," and "Dat $tick", said that with the continuing violence, his parents were making efforts to move out of the country's capital to Bali. They have also encouraged their son to extend his stay in the United States.The 17-year-old said he had no plans to return to Indonesia anytime soon.
"I love this place," he says.
"I've always wanted to move out here," he said.
Immanuel said he would spend his time in Los Angeles working on his debut album while continuing to work on a number of film and comedy projects, following in the footsteps of his idol, rapper Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino.
Read also: Rich Chigga chats with Pharrell on US radio
Two tracks from Immanuel, and especially "Dat $tick", have won praise from a number of hip-hop legends, including Ghostface Kilah, formerly of New York rap collective Wu Tang Clan.
The video for "Dat $tick," which was self-directed, has garnered upwards of 54 million views since it was posted in February 2016.
Rich Chigga's tweet July 20 (Twitter/File)
In response to Brian Immanuel’s tweet regarding this article, what we wrote was "The 17-year-old said he had no plans to return to Indonesia anytime soon." The sentence does not indicate permanent relocation. We are still trying to reach him for further clarifications.