Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles (moody music) This is Rich Chigga. He's a Chinese rapper by way of Indonesia, and he's very popular on the internet. This is Joji. He's a Japanese-Australian singer and he's also very popular on the internet. Plus, Joji invented the Harlem Shake meme. Let me say that again. This guy, Joji, in the blood bathtub, invented the Harlem Shake meme. But we'll come back to that. So, Rich and Joji are both signed to 88rising, an entertainment company hoping to build a lasting global brand that will outlive singular moments of virality. They primarily create content combining Asian culture and hip-hop, a formula that apparently pleases the internet gods greatly. They've only been around for 18 months, but they're already putting up major label numbers. I think that we have an unprecedented collective of talent. A group of predominantly Asian artists, you know, really like making waves globally, which from an independent point of view as well. 88's founder, Sean Miyashiro, cut his teeth launching Vice's electronic music channel, Thump. But quickly, Sean became interested in life beyond dance music. I knew that, after launching a whole content platform, that I have kind of the ability and the know-how to do it again, but for what was the question. So Sean moved to the Bronx to start over and figure it out. He couldn't afford an office space, so he worked out of his car at the top of a grimy parking garage. Everything kinda started here. If you look around, this is my environment, this is my serenity, really. 88rising was built here. Built on the grounds of LA Fitness residence in a parking garage. I was living in the Bronx and I'm just like, damn, where the hell do I go? So I just come up here and I like, you know, I just kind of figure things out every single day, being like, okay, what the hell is this thing? (laughs) Coming here was kind of like my own kind of private office basically. Like, to be honest, I would even go to the bathroom here. I would take pisses here, you know what I mean? Like, you know, it's just too far to go back down there. When I need wi-fi, I'd spend a good part of the day at Dunkin Donuts. Hi, how are you? Can I get a chicken snack wrap? Before 88rising officially launched, Sean caught a surprise break in the form of a Twitter friendship with a funny 16-year-old kid from Indonesia named Brian, who taught himself English by watching Rubik's Cube tutorial videos on YouTube. Seriously, that's true. I thought his Twitter was genius, from the future, just crazy. And like, just the shit that he was saying, like the memes he was making. But I didn't know that he rapped or anything like that. I really didn't, and he came up with Dat $tick like two weeks later. ♪ 12 in the morning, pop shells for a living ♪ ♪ And berry gon' smell blood trail every minute ♪ Dat $tick was Brian's first ever attempt at making a rap song, and it immediately went viral. Everything was great about it, but the one thing that I noticed is the song was hard as hell. Just like everything about it, man. Just like, it was menacing, bro. Soon after the video dropped, Brian signed with 88rising. I'll FaceTime with Rich. Sorry for calling you Rich Chigga on my phone, Rich. He gets, I mean Brian, he gets like super pissed off that he's saved in my phone as Rich Chigga. He's like, "Dude am I not a human to you?" What's good, bro? What's good, broda? How you doing? Doing great, I did the sound check. How was it? It was tight. ♪ Holdin' steel glocks ♪ ♪ But you been a bitch, suck a thick cock ♪ So, Brian could definitely rap, but some viewers understandably took offense at a Chinese kid satirizing rap cliches and calling himself "Rich Chigga." But if a group of well-known rappers saw the video and genuinely liked it, that could at least help validate Brian as a legit hip-hop artist. Plus, it could be really funny. It was just kind of an idea that kind of I just had on the spot. Everything that rappers say is better and funnier and smarter, and wittier. You know, it's just more entertaining. We just edit it as tight as possible, put it up, and it really worked. (shouting) Yo, this nigga got a pouch on, a Reebok pouch. This is the hardest nigga of all time. He said when you come for a chigga like me. That was dope. This is lit and I think people will take is as a... People will take is as a joke at first, but it's like, if he ran with that and kept doing more videos like that, shit's lit. You know, I had never been to America before and all of a sudden it's like I see like all the rappers that I listen to reacting to my stuff and I was like, 'What? How did this happen?' The reaction video also went viral and even led to a remix of Dat $tick featuring Wu-Tang's Ghostface. I'll get on that track. You know what I'm saying, yeah. Really, on the remix? Yeah, yeah, oh, you know him? And, yeah, the remix went viral too. Brian has since acknowledged the misstep in his name and claims he made changes, but for the time being, he's still Rich Chigga to his fans, an ever-growing global audience hungry for more releases from emerging talents from around the world. I didn't know that it was gonna be this impactful and this important to people and I'm very thankful and blessed that it has, and every day now that I wake up it's like, you know, just a new mission every day. A major part of that mission involves Joji. Remember the bloody bath guy? He's a former YouTube personality in the middle of a career transition. The sound of this song, Will He, it's like a trap song that you can slow dance to. Awkward prom shit. You know what I mean? I used to do crazy, episodic internet videos. It was going well and one day it was me and a few friends just in a room. We were casually chilling and then someone plays the song and it's brand new at the time. I happened to have a lot of costumes laying around, so I told the other guys, I was like, get in these costumes and let's just dance to it. Like who cares? We were like, okay, let's just go crazy at the drop. So that video goes up, I go to sleep and the next morning everyone was doing it. Like next morning. ("Harlem Shake") That taught me a lot about the internet. How people wanna just be a part of something.