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‘Shang-Chi: The Album’ artists NIKI, Rich Brian, and Warren Hue fill us in on their superhero personas


If you’re still on a “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings: The Album” high, don’t deprive yourself of another play. The artists themselves—specifically Rich Brian, NIKI, and Warren Hue—are on the same page. 

The 88rising folks shared their personal anecdotes on the making of the soundtrack for Marvel’s newest Asian-led film in an exclusive press conference in September. Together with other Asian artists in the hip-hop, pop, and rap scenes, they helmed the cohesive high-energy album to its world-building potential, offering us a pass into the film’s own action-packed universe. 

Since the album imagines a world of confrontations, rescues, authority, and power, did NIKI, Rich Brian, and Warren Hue channel their own dream superhero personas in the process, too? We never got to know, but they did answer the classic slambook question: “What’s your dream superpower, and what would be your superhero name?”

Warren Hue: I don’t know a superhero name, but I know a superpower that I would [love to have]. I would probably be able to freeze time. I got a lot of stuff to do. And I just wanna pause my life a little bit and just relax. You feel me? Just on the relax vibe.

Rich Brian: For me, I want to be able to do something, do whatever it is that I want and experience it for the first time again. I think the biggest thing in life is like, people just do stuff and they get bored of it. And then, that’s what makes them sad and depressed. And I wanna be able to look at something and be like, ‘Oh, I wanna do that for the first time,’ and I’m like, have no memory of doing that ever, and then like [I’m] just doing it, and experiencing it for the first time. I feel like that’ll be a cool thing to do because I can listen to a song for the first time again, and that’s such a cool thing to be in. And that’ll make me really inspired. My superhero name would be “Henry Golding.”

Niki: So I recently got into gardening, and I’ve been growing a lot of plants. And it’s so fun. So I would want to have a superpower where I can just grow plants. And I could make them explode around the Earth, and I could, like, manipulate it to do whatever I want with the plants. 

I really like the color green, so my superhero name would be Indonesian, “Zamrud,” which means “emerald.”

Read more: 

Before Shang-Chi was Shang-Chi, he was a stock image icon

88rising’s NIKI on empathy, ugly drafts and escapism

Rich Brian gave us that badoom, boom, bass by covering ‘Superbass’ 

Photos from the Instagram profiles of Rich Brian, NIKI, and Warren Hue

Art by Yel Sayo



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