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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

 July
 
Jul 19   Great Grandpa & Dead Soft   Fortune
Jul 20   Opia   Fortune
Jul 21   Comethazine (All Ages)   Fortune
Jul 21   Melvins (Vancouver)   Venue
Jul 22   Creed Bratton (Live)   Fortune
Jul 24   Melvins (Edmonton)   Starlite
Jul 25   Melvins (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Jul 27   Melvins (Winnipeg)   Pyramid
Jul 28   The Grouch & Eligh   Fortune
 
 August
 
Aug 7   Rex Orange County (All Ages)   Vogue Theatre
Aug 7   Smokepurpp   Venue
Aug 16   Flynt Flossy & Turquoise Jeep   Fortune
Aug 16   Insane Clown Posse   Venue
Aug 18   Lucki (All Ages)   Fortune
Aug 18   Yelawolf   Commodore
Aug 19   Insane Clown Posse (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Aug 21   Powerglove   Rickshaw
Aug 21   The Cadillac Three   Venue
Aug 29   JPEGMAFIA   Fortune
Aug 30   Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers   Venue
Aug 30   Let's Eat Grandma   Fortune
Aug 30   Poolside   Biltmore
 
 September
 
Sep 2   Ripe   Venue
Sep 3   The Exploited   Fortune
Sep 6   grandson   Venue
Sep 11   Brent Faiyaz   Fox
Sep 13   Buddy   Fortune
Sep 13   Ella Mai   Venue
Sep 14   Pell   Fortune
Sep 14   Ravyn Lenae   Venue
Sep 15   Duckwrth   Fortune
Sep 15   Saba   Venue
Sep 16   Fatima Al Qadiri   Fortune
Sep 17   J Roddy Walston & The Business   Venue
Sep 21   Soulection   Commodore
Sep 23   The Presets   Venue
Sep 25   Bob Moses   Commodore
Sep 26   Denzel Curry (All Ages)   Fortune
Sep 27   The Midnight   Fortune
Sep 27   The Midnight   Fortune
Sep 29   Andy Mineo & Lecrae   Venue
 
 October
 
Oct 5   Max (All Ages)   Fortune
Oct 6   Cadence Weapon   Venue
Oct 6   Fat Nick (All Ages)   Venue
Oct 12   Rejjie Snow (All Ages)   Fortune
Oct 13   Alma   Celebrities
Oct 13   Whethan   Commodore
Oct 15   The Grapes Of Wrath   Venue
Oct 20   Windhand   Venue
Oct 26   SG Lewis   Fortune
 
 November
 
Nov 2   The Dirty Nil (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Nov 8   Gallant (All Ages)   Vogue Theatre
Nov 14   Petit Biscuit   Commodore
Nov 16   Masego   Fortune
Nov 17   Young Fathers   Venue
 
 December
 
Dec 1   Pale Waves   Venue