August 9th, 2012
Photo from the Mad Decent block party with Phrequency photographer, Teresa McCullough.
Riff Raff’s a trip. He’s on Instragram. He’s got grills. He’s covered in WEIRD-but-funny tattoos. He’s a viral sensation. And he’s on Diplo’s Mad Decent. Ya know what else? His flow is, uh, how do you say, unique. If Azaelia Banks and Amanda Blank can spit like a mile a minute, Riff Raff spits about a yard a minute. It’s slow. But pace does not make an emcee. It’s a whole package deal. Beats help, expert production is good to have on your side, and catchiness is a plus. Some emcees get notoriety for being hard, tough and thug-like rappers who’ve been through the hood and they’ve emerged on the better, safer and healthier side of the tracks. They can rap about how horrible it was and how good life is now that they’re outta the hood. But then there are hip-hop artists who are just plain absurd. Just take it over the top and it’ll probably be interesting. Look at Tyler, The Creator – he took his totally messed-in-the-head, seeking-therapy, nihilistic potty mouth and put it to tracks for Goblin. And even if it offended people, it certainly caught a lot of people’s attention. And the beats were sick.
Riff Raff, often stylized as RiFF RaFF, is from Houston, Texas. He’s been known to associate with Soulja Boy and started out a career as a rapper on MySpace, then known as Kokayne Dawkinz. He’s 30, and he’s been affiliated with the trio of Three Loco (with Andy Milonakis and Simon Rex) and appeared on the second season of From G’s to Gents. He lost. But he ran with the exposure and now he’s blowing up. He is a social media PLAYER. And it managed to snag him a reportedly 8-album $2.7 million dollar deal. This is not one of those records. This is a free, downloadable mixtape that you should probably just give a spin. See for yourself. He’s a known freestyler, but this 25-track mixtape is a pretty heavily produced foray into the studio. It’s good for a chin rub, a laugh, and cipher tunes.