Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sound Check: RiFF RAFF the Neon Baller

Posted by on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 4:29 PM

RIFF RAFF
  • RIFF RAFF

In the New Testament's Book of Balling, there is a passage that reads: "There will come a candy-color-robed orator from Houston with cornrows, sky-blue eyes, and braids in the back longer than Latrell Sprewell's. He will tell of Versace with a Texas drawl. He will wave a wand over his carry-on Louis Vuitton. Then eat filet mignon. He will dribble between his legs, step back, and drain the fadeaway three. He shall cavort upon you." New Testament sources have confirmed that the passage is about Horst Christian Simco, aka RiFF RAFF, the eyebrow-striped, Mad Decent–signed rapper with facial hair shaved like alien crop circles. The "cheea" calls he issues are pushed strongly from a crunch-toned diaphragm, and he shows range with a softer G-shaded singing voice on tracks like "Let Me Drive." Of ballers currently balling, RiFF RAFF is one of the ballingest ballers.

RiFF's grilled bravado and braggadocious presence rouse reaction, love or hate. People ask if he's mocking hiphop. People get mad. Why? Because he's on top of being over-the-top? Because he's a self-made internet entity? His drive and ambition are undeniable. His shows are cyclones of bodies going hyphy. RiFF has gone from MTV reality-show contestant to Diplo-produced collaborations with Drake, A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, and 2 Chainz. He's a pariah, he's a piranha, he's Jody Highroller the entertainer, and he's got James Franco playing him in movies. Love him or hate him, it's not gonna change RiFF or stop him. The much anticipated Mad Decent release of his Neon iCon album has been pushed back again to this June. Until then, we have him rolling at us live in his raspberry, aqua, and lime-green iCON tour bus. You can't miss it: He's the one on the side holding the baby and the husky puppy. This Seattle set promises to be longer than the 30-minute blitz at Nectar he did before. RiFF spoke from a Texas location.

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