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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

 April
 
Apr 23   LP   Orpheum
Apr 23   Wallows (All Ages)   Venue
Apr 24   Yelawolf (Sask)   Coors Centre
Apr 25   Roy Blair   Fortune
Apr 25   Yelawolf (Winn)   Citizen
Apr 27   Knife Knights   Fortune
Apr 27   The Floozies   Celebrities UG
Apr 30   Peter Bjorn And John   Venue
 
 May
 
May 1   Lil Windex   Venue
May 2   Melvins   Venue
May 4   ionnalee   Venue
May 8   Jai Wolf   Venue
May 11   Michal Menert & Exmag   Fortune
May 18   Lolo Zouaï (All Ages)   Fortune
May 22   Pink Sweat$ (All Ages)   Fortune
May 22   SonReal (Cal)   Commonwealth
May 23   Orville Peck (Cal)   Commonwealth
May 25   Higher Brothers   Commodore
May 25   Jenn Grant   Fortune
May 28   BONES (All Ages)   Venue
May 28   J.I.D   Commodore
May 30   Snotty Nose Rez Kids   Fortune
May 31   BONES   Commonwealth
 
 June
 
Jun 4   Operators (Cal)   Commonwealth
Jun 7   Chromeo with a Live Band (All Ages)   Malkin Bowl
Jun 7   Operators/Handsome Furs   Fortune
Jun 8   Kranium   Venue
Jun 8   Operators/Handsome Furs   Fortune
Jun 14   Sticky Fingers   Commodore
Jun 14   Yungblud (All Ages)   Venue
Jun 15   Reverend Horton Heat   Venue
Jun 15   Sticky Fingers   Commodore
Jun 16   Reverend Horton Heat (Vic)   Distrikt
Jun 21   Together Pangea & Vundabar   Venue
Jun 23   Blue October   Venue
Jun 26   The Messthetics   Fortune
 
 July
 
Jul 5   FVDED In The Park 2019   Holland Park
Jul 11   Bob Log III   Fortune
Jul 20   Cuco (All Ages)   Venue
Jul 27   Comethazine (All Ages)   Venue
Jul 31   The Marías   Fortune
 
 August
 
Aug 5   Pixx   Fox
Aug 7   The Drums   Imperial
Aug 10   Everything Is Terrible   Fox
 
 September
 
Sep 17   Charlie Cunningham   Fox
Sep 23   Nitzer Ebb   Venue
Sep 26   Shura   Venue
 
 October
 
Oct 1   Kamelot & Sonata Artica   Venue
Oct 5   Delain, Amorphis & Anneke Van Giersberge   Venue
 
 November
 
Nov 4   Peter Hook & the Light   Venue
 
 December
 
Dec 6   The Chainsmokers   Rogers Arena