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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

 September
 
Sep 19   Houndmouth   Venue
Sep 21   Comethazine (All Ages)   Fortune
Sep 23   Black Joe Lewis (Victoria)   Capital
Sep 23   The Presets   Venue
Sep 24   Black Joe Lewis   Venue
Sep 25   Bob Moses   Commodore
Sep 26   Denzel Curry (All Ages)   Fortune
Sep 26   Denzel Curry (Afterparty)   Fortune
Sep 27   The Midnight   Fortune
Sep 29   Andy Mineo & Lecrae   Venue
 
 October
 
Oct 5   Max (All Ages)   Fortune
Oct 6   Cadence Weapon   Fortune
Oct 6   Fat Nick (All Ages)   Venue
Oct 9   RZA x VIFF   Orpheum & Rio
Oct 11   I M U R   Fortune
Oct 12   Rejjie Snow (All Ages)   Fortune
Oct 13   Alma (Cancelled)   Celebrities
Oct 13   Fatlip   Fortune
Oct 13   Whethan   Commodore
Oct 15   The Grapes Of Wrath   Venue
Oct 17   Jazz Cartier   Venue
Oct 18   Jazz Cartier (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Oct 19   SahBabii Hosts HEF   Fortune
Oct 19   Shoreline Mafia (All Ages)   Venue
Oct 20   Windhand   Venue
Oct 24   The Dodos   Venue
Oct 26   SG Lewis   Fortune
Oct 28   Azizi Gibson   Fortune
Oct 30   NEW CITY (All Ages)   Venue
 
 November
 
Nov 1   SOJA   Venue
Nov 2   Scarlxrd   Fortune
Nov 2   The Dirty Nil (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Nov 2   The Glorious Sons   Commodore
Nov 3   The Glorious Sons   Commodore
Nov 7   J Mascis   Imperial
Nov 8   Autogramm & Needles//Pins   Fortune
Nov 8   Gallant (All Ages)   Vogue Theatre
Nov 9   Joey Trap (All Ages)   Venue
Nov 10   Ghostemane (All Ages)   Fortune
Nov 12   Clan Of Xymox   Venue
Nov 12   Oliver Francis (All Ages)   Fortune
Nov 14   Petit Biscuit   Commodore
Nov 16   Masego   Fortune
Nov 17   Young Fathers   Venue
Nov 21   Chase Atlantic   Fortune
Nov 22   The Flatliners (Calgary)   Commonwealth
Nov 24   The Flatliners   Venue
Nov 28   Pop Evil & Royal Tusk   Venue
Nov 29   Chris Robinson Brotherhood   Venue
 
 December
 
Dec 1   Pale Waves (All Ages)   Venue
Dec 6   Godflesh   Venue
Dec 7   White Panda   Celebrities
Dec 15   Preoccupations & Protomartyr   Venue
 
 January
 
Jan 18   Taggart & Torrens   Fortune
Jan 30   The Lemon Twigs   Venue
 
 February
 
Feb 23   Maribou State   Fortune
 
 March
 
Mar 5   Parcels   Fortune