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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

 June
 
Jun 26   The Messthetics   Fortune
 
 July
 
Jul 5   FVDED In The Park 2019   Holland Park
Jul 11   Bob Log III   Fortune
Jul 12   wifisfuneral (All Ages)   Fortune
Jul 20   Cuco (All Ages)   Venue
Jul 25   Afterlife Tour (All Ages)   Fortune
Jul 27   Comethazine (All Ages)   Venue
Jul 31   The Marías   Fortune
 
 August
 
Aug 1   Bodega & B Boys   Fortune
Aug 2   Miya Folick   Fox
Aug 5   Pixx   Fox
Aug 6   Alison Sudol   Fox
Aug 7   The Drums   Imperial
Aug 9   GOTHBOICLIQUE (All Ages)   Fortune
Aug 10   Everything Is Terrible   Fox
Aug 22   Mndsgn   Fortune
Aug 30   The Midnight   Commodore
 
 September
 
Sep 1   Sleep   Capital
Sep 12   Blackalicious   Fortune
Sep 12   No Fun At All   Venue
Sep 13   Oliver Tree   Commodore
Sep 17   Charlie Cunningham   Fox
Sep 23   Nitzer Ebb   Venue
Sep 26   Criminal: Podcast   Hollywood Theatre
Sep 26   Shura   Venue
Sep 27   Nilüfer Yanya   Fortune
Sep 29   Hatchie   Fortune
Sep 30   Band of Skulls   Venue
 
 October
 
Oct 1   !!! Chk Chk Chk   Fortune
Oct 1   Kamelot & Sonata Artica   Venue
Oct 2   SG Lewis   Fortune
Oct 2   Marc Rebillet   Venue
Oct 5   Delain, Amorphis & Anneke Van Giersberge   Venue
Oct 7   Ride   Venue
Oct 10   Maribou State   Commodore
Oct 11   Injury Reserve   Fortune
Oct 15   Cavetown   Venue
Oct 26   Hollerado   Commonwealth
Oct 28   Cat Power   Commodore
Oct 30   Madeon (Live)   Commodore
 
 November
 
Nov 4   Peter Hook & the Light   Venue
Nov 6   SHAED   Fortune
Nov 23   Dave (All Ages)   Fortune
 
 December
 
Dec 6   The Chainsmokers   Rogers Arena