Cameras and phones all pointed towards Rich Brian on November 6 as he headlined day one of Head In The Clouds with a fiery set. The crowd’s cheers were explosive as he arrived on stage in metallic, silver pants and vest over a white shirt.

You Better Cry

His entrance was dramatic, fitting for one of 88 Rising’s veteran artists. With a message to the crowd, “I better see you jump… and scream… and cry…or else I’ll cry,” Rich Brian arrived on stage, fiercely rapping a new snippet from a song. He then transitioned over to “Sydney.”

Gospel” is next on the list, followed by “Cold,” as Rich Brian tones it down for a mellow rap. That wasn’t for too long, though, as “100 Degrees” blasts through the speakers. Brian takes the opportunity to tell the crowd, “you guys are lit as fuck,” after their hype for the set.

A New Life After the Pandemic 

Rich Brian took a small break, using the time to share a brief story about the origin of his next song on the set. A few piano notes play in the background, and after sharing some very personal insights, he said, “[Manager Sean] was like you should make a song, you should make a song and put it out.” 

Tokyo Drift Freestyle” is a song that came from the sudden halt of the pandemic. Rich Brian went off in his performance, almost losing his breath along the way. The song ended with Rich Brian making an echo with the crowd with him chanting “Rich,” and the audience replying “Brian.”

The next song started with synchronized clapping from the crowd; a faint scream could be heard through the applause. Then, when “Glow Like Dat” started playing, the crowd began singing along, jumping around like never before. By the end of the set, Rich Brian gets so hot he has to remove his vest.

How Much We’ve Grown 

During his short break from the hype, Rich Brian speaks about the things he has accomplished in the past few months–the release of a new song and his features on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. “I’m just happy I’m here with you guys,” he said. In addition, Rich Brian teased new music coming out soon, but first came “New Tooth.”

Ending with the line “I ain’t born to die,” Brian perfectly transitions to “Yellow,” an emotional track featuring the lyrics, “will anyone even miss me when I’m gone.” The crowd chanted Brian’s name after the end of the track, proving the song’s emotion. Then, after being joined by a female guitarist, Rich Brian started “Drive Safe.”

Guest Appearances, Oldies, and Hype

The hype is brought back when Rich Brian asks the crowd, “are you ready to turn the fuck up again?” He starts to play around with the crowd, asking the left, right, and middle sides to compete in making noise. “Bali” begins to play, and Rich Brian was joined on stage by Guapdad 4000, who gave him an “I love adobo” hoodie as a gift after the song ends.

Bigtime hit “History” starts to play after his special guest leaves. Before he introduced his next track, he added, “I wanna see if there’s some old fans in this bitch,” causing the crowd to surge in excitement and starts to rap with him, “Who Dat Be” then begins to play.

The real party begins when a horn trio begins to play from the darkness of the stage; Rich Brian feigned confusion as a group dancing to “Edamame” came on stage. The crowd goes wild when he burst into bbno$’s “Edamame.” For his last song, Rich Brian requested that everyone turn on their flashlights and move with him. Again, the crowd lit up like an ocean of lights as he ended with “Slow Down Turbo.”

The Party Ain’t Over

The finale of day one featured multiple 88 Rising artists. It began with a tease from Niki, who only sang a few seconds from “Always Rising” before saying, “love you LA, I’ll see you tomorrow,” then walking off the stage. Brian came back on stage, bringing Warren Hue with him to continue what Niki started.

Warren Hue introduced himself and then proceeded to start singing “Star in Love.” After Warren Hue left the stage, the crowd was once again surprised with the appearance of August 08, who was not mentioned in this year’s lineup. However, together with Rich Brian, he helped close day one of Head in the Clouds with “Midsummer Madness.

The performance was one only Rich Brian could pull off; he later tweeted out for every video of him to be sent to him.

Looking for more Head In The Clouds coverage? Check out our recap of ATARASHII GAKKO!’s stage!

Thumbnail courtesy of Steven Rood and 88rising.