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High rollin’ with Riff Raff

By Vanessa Krystin Wong

No one can question the fact that Riff Raff knows how to win a crowd: one reviewer called his 2013 performance at Vancouver’s
Venue “a hell of an entertaining show,” which is great because Jody Highroller is back at Venue on February 19th for a repeat performance.

Riff Raff is king of the caricature: the rap game James Franco/Chuck Norris/Bon Jovi (among others) is known for taking on bizarre personas and running with it. His personality is inherently viral, racking up millions of views on YouTube and Vine, not to mention a 7-digit twitter following.  His zig-zag beard and cornrows only serve to accentuate his larger-than-life interpretation of the rap game. A veritable darling of Worldstarhiphop.com, he has a knack for making people watch, including videos of him freestyling and snorting coke.

Interestingly, Riff Raff was once a contestant on MTV’s From G’s to Gents, a show that aimed to turn “rough-around-the-edges young men” into gentlemen…he was booted off after a couple episodes, but the appearance was the first step in solidifying his notoriety. Soon after, he was signed to Soulja Boy’s SODMG label, and the world continued to take notice of both his music and his antics.

He plays a lot, but he’s no joke: collaborations with Chief Keef, Action Bronson and Childish Gambino have proved a sense of substance, even in the seemingly non-sensical. For example, on “Jenny Craig” he raps, “Candy fuchsia Buick/ Martha Stewart transmission fluid…” – words held together in a sticky, loosely rhymed stream of consciousness.  Riff Raff more recently signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label, and his 2014 release Neon Icon has only furthered his cult-like following.

Riff Raff has made several visits to Vancouver, and the Vancity connect is strengthened by his work with Stuey Kubrick, one of the West Coast’s most successful music video directors: “Rap Game James Franco ft. Deezus” has racked up more than 3 million hits. Furthermore, his interview with Nardwuar in Vancouver has over a million views and features Riff Raff in all his glory, grill in mouth and stacks of Canadian cash in hand.

It’ll be interesting to see what the rap game Picasso brings on February 19: check his Vine to prepare yourself, and be ready for a mind-bending experience.

By Amalia Nickel

 

events calendar

 November
 
Nov 14   Petit Biscuit   Commodore
Nov 14   The Lazys & The Standstills   Venue
Nov 16   Masego   Fortune
Nov 17   Young Fathers   Venue
Nov 22   The Flatliners (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Nov 23   Luca Fogale   Fox
Nov 24   The Flatliners   Venue
Nov 28   Pop Evil & Royal Tusk   Venue
Nov 29   Chris Robinson Brotherhood   Venue
Nov 30   So Loki x BBNO$   Fortune
 
 December
 
Dec 1   Pale Waves (All Ages)   Venue
Dec 6   Godflesh   Venue
Dec 7   White Panda   Celebrities
Dec 14   Freddie Gibbs   Fortune
Dec 15   Ivy Lab   Celebs Underground
Dec 15   Preoccupations & Protomartyr   Venue
Dec 19   Jazz Cartier   Venue
Dec 20   Jazz Cartier (Calgary)   Commonwealth
 
 January
 
Jan 18   Taggart & Torrens   Fortune
Jan 19   Jacob Banks   Venue
Jan 24   MadeinTYO (All Ages)   Venue
Jan 27   Dorothy   Venue
Jan 30   The Lemon Twigs   Venue
Jan 31   Chrome Sparks   Fortune
Jan 31   LP   Orpheum
 
 February
 
Feb 3   gnash   Venue
Feb 7   King Tuff   Fortune
Feb 7   Monster Truck   Venue
Feb 9   Monster Truck   Venue
Feb 19   Shad (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Feb 21   David August   Imperial
Feb 21   Shad   Fortune
Feb 22   Joji   Fortune
Feb 23   Maribou State   Fortune
 
 March
 
Mar 5   Parcels   Fortune
Mar 8   Mansionair   Imperial
Mar 13   Tiffany Young   Venue
Mar 16   Big Wild   Commodore
Mar 17   Ripe   Fortune
Mar 27   Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers   Venue
Mar 28   Quinn XCII: From Tour With Love   Commodore
 
 April
 
Apr 3   Tommy Genesis   Fortune
 
 November
 
Nov 4   Peter Hook & the Light   Venue