Rapper MILLI took the Coachella stage – and Thai social media by storm – on Saturday as part of Asian-American record label 88rising’s set, repping her home country with her lyrics – and by eating from a bowl of beloved dessert mango sticky rice.
MILLI’s performance was part of 88rising’s eventful “Head in the Clouds Forever” set at Coachella on April 16, taking the stage alongside NIKI, Rich Brian, Warren Hue, CL, Jackson Wang, Hikaru Utada and BIBI.
The rapper – whose real name is Danupha Khanatheerakul – closed her four-song performance with a song titled ‘Mango Sticky Rice’ and by munching on a bowl of the dessert. “Who wants mango and rice that is sticky?” MILLI asked the crowd.
MILLI’s performance – which became a social media sensation in Thailand – contributed to a sharp global spike in Google searches for “mango sticky rice”, economics professor Wisarut Suwanprasert pointed out on Twitter. It also made the hashtag #khanonieomamuang (or “mango sticky rice”) a trending topic for Thai Twitter users, according to the Bangkok Post.
With her performance, MILLI became the first Thai artist to perform solo at Coachella. She is also the second overall Thai performer at the festival, following BLACKPINK‘s 2019 performance.
Social media users celebrating MILLI’s performance at Coachella also praised her lyrics taking aim at stereotypes about Thailand, including “I don’t ride an elephant” and “I can play ping-pong with no hands“.
She also took a jab at the Thai government on stage as she rapped the lyrics: “The country is good, people is good, our food is good, but the government is bood“. “Bood”, when translated to English, means “rotten”. The military backed government previously fined her for performing anti-government songs.
See a sampling of the social media reaction to MILLI’s Coachella set below, including Thai politician and Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat calling MILLI “Thailand’s closest hope for soft power”.
MILLI’s set consisted of four tracks: An unreleased freestyle over Rich Brian and Warren Hue’s ‘Lazy Susan’, ‘Mirror, Mirror’ (originally a collaboration with Stray Kids’ Changbin and Thai rapper F.HERO), ‘Sudpang!’ and ‘Mango Sticky Rice’.