Milli's sticky rice and mango stunt grabs world's attention
Teenage rap sensation and government critic Danupha "Milli" Khanatheerakul on Sunday grabbed the world's attention at this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival after ending her show by eating mango sticky rice on stage.
The gimmick made the hashtag #khanonieomamuang ("mango sticky rice") a trending topic among Thai Twitter users. As of press time yesterday, #MILLILiveatCoachella remained one of the top trending topics on Twitter, with 1.39 million tweets and counting.
Milli was among the eight artists from Asia who had been invited to perform at Coachella -- joining the ranks of K-pop icon CL, multi-hyphenate Jackson Wang from GOT7, Japanese-American singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada, Korean singer-songwriter Bibi, rising Indonesian star Warren Hue, Indonesian singer-songwriter Niki and Indonesian rapper Rich Brian and the organiser 88rising.
She followed in the footsteps of Blackpink's Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban -- who performed there back in 2019 -- to become the second Thai artist to perform at the festival.
Dressed in red, she took to the stage at 8.45am Bangkok time yesterday, performing songs which include "Mirror Mirror" and "Sud Pang" -- making numerous jabs at Thai cliches in her lyrics, such as "I'm Thai, Thailand so hot so hot, I can play ping pong without hands".
She also rapped about Thai's electric rail system, and referred to kinnaree street lamps which cost about 100,000 baht each.
At the end of her performance, Milli held a bowl of mango sticky rice and ate before the audience to promote the dessert, asking the crowd, "Who wants mango and rice that is sticky?" Her skit became the talk of the town in Thailand, with many praising her for using "soft power" to promote Thai culture.
Milli first made headlines in July last year when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha pressed defamation charges against her over her social media remarks which slammed him for his management of the Covid-19 crisis. The rapper admitted to the charge and paid a 2,000-baht fine.