It is safe to say that there is no Hip Hop artist around today that is as fun and engaging as Riff Raff. Originally finding fame on the MTV US series From G’s To Gents in 2009, the 35-year old Houston native has gone on to become known for his impulsive freestyles, as well as his outlandish fashion sense.
This in mind, the eccentric rapper’s most admirable characteristic is how entertaining his music really is. There is nothing serious or daunting about a Riff Raff release, instead, the Neon Icon is a refreshing contrast to self-conscious and reflective artists who simply cannot pull off a peach-colored tuxedo. While his music may be bursting with tongue-in-cheek lyricism and raw energy, Riff Raff’s live shows are the true adventure.
Fresh off his 2016 Peach Panther Tour, in support of the album of the same, Riff Raff has launched 2017 with a new tour set to hit 40 cities. An exciting time for fans, days prior to dropping his new album, Aquaberry Aquarius, Riff Raff dropped by Revolution Bar and Music Hall in Amityville, New York on Friday, January 27th. A fitting way to start the weekend, the show was a miniature festival of sorts with support from locals foursix, Lindsey Jenningz, Joey Zan, The 58’s, Owey, Dolla Bill Gates, followed by Neon Icon himself.
Starting off at 8 PM was New York based foursix. Consisting of Amoedo, Coach Wave, Zino, Payso, Zach Day,and Jahnei, the group got the party started with their unique brand of Electro-Rap. Looking to make a splash, their new album, 3016, is due out on February 10th. Directly following was Alternative model/Hip Hop Artist Lindsey Jenningz. Doing her own thing, Jenningz has been featured in countless photo shoots, worked with Suicide Girls, and has a knack for Comedy. Coming out ready to keep the fun flowing, Jenningz fearlessly moved about the stage, engaging the audience.
Riff Raff emerged onto the stage follow DJ Afterthought at around midnight. While it appeared Riff Raff’s DJ played a longer set than he did, it did not matter because the Neon Icon came out strutting his stuff to the tune of “How to Be the Man.”
Inspiring the audience to jump wildly, Riff Raff, alongside two hype men, began rapping as everyone’s phones were raised high up in the air, cameras flashing and recording. Some members of the audience even crowd-surfed as the rapper was greeted to cheers and snapchats from his primarily under-21-year-old audience.
Belting out a collection of hits spanning almost a decade, including “Dolce and Gabana” and “Tip Tow Wing In My Jawdinz” and “Carlos Slim,” the crowd quickly erupted into an impromptu mosh-pit as boys and girls alike spat each lyric back at the online sensation. As the show went on, the Texan rapper maintained the dynamic energy, all which peaked to eardrum shattering levels when he performed the fan-favorite “Versace Python.”
Not to be overlooked, “All I Ever Wanted” was also a highlight, as Riff turned the bass boost up to eleven as the party-like vibe heightened. A relaxed mood, everyone seemed to be enjoying the loose raps over tracks, and if there is one thing the man is cognizant of, it is his fans. That said, the authenticity of the rapper, despite his unconventional rise to fame, is out of this world.
Riff Raff works well with what his audience wants, which is to hang out with him. A quaint venue, Revolution Bar and Music Hall was the perfect venue for a kickback, as its intimate setting allows for even more talent-audience interaction than normal. From pulling audience members up onstage and dancing, to high-fiving each crowd-surfer, Riff Raff truly knows how to please an audience.
At about one or so in the morning, Jody HiGHROLLER himself had the luxury of leaving before “Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwdinz” had even finished playing. He never said goodbye, just appeared at the side of the stage once house lights were on, posing like internet royalty for the fan cameras.
Such an abrupt exit, he is an embodiment of where the entertainment industry is going, proving sometimes all you need is a bit of dynamic energy and a good bassline. Social video-sharing app Vine is no less worthy an artistic statement than a verse full of dizzying lyricism if you are your own product. All this said, Riff Raff is Rap, but modern, or perhaps Rap confronted with its own terrifying modernity.Photos by: Aintellin Photography