Live Review: Riff Raff In London
Over the past twelve months, Houston rapper RiFF RaFF has been riding an unstoppable wave of success. Since signing a reported eight-album deal with super producer Diplo in June 2012, the rapper also known as Jody HighRoller has revealed collaborations with a slew of rappers, including Drake, A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, Snoop Dogg and Mac Miller on his upcoming debut record. The eccentric showman recently brought his stage show to Barfly in Camden during a whistle-stop tour of Europe...
Eager to catch a glimpse of Riff’s colourful persona, fans came out in droves to celebrate the arrival of the Ultra-Violet Pirate’s sold-out debut gig in London town, and the flamboyant rapper certainly did not disappoint. Enlisting the help of UK rapper Jake Emlyn and BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex, Riff Raff kept fans in suspense - before eventually bursting onto the stage in his trademark energetic manner, causing mass hysteria amongst the crowd.
Belting out a collection of hits, including ‘Sleeping in Seattle’, ‘Terrorists’ and ‘Lil Mama, I’m Sorry’ – the crowd quickly erupted into an impromptu mosh-pit, with the online sensation’s diverse mix of fans going crazy for his every word. As the show went on, the Texan rapper maintained the buzz amongst his audience - which peaked to eardrum bursting levels when Riff performed the crowd favourite ‘Marc Jacobs’.
Originally finding fame on the MTV US series From G’s To Gents in 2009, Riff has gone on to become known for his impulsive freestyles, as well as his outlandish fashion sense. When asked about the importance of fashion to what he does, Riff told MTV The Wrap Up: “It’s fifty one percent! I’m flashy; I’m into my fashion and jewellery. Fashion is what I do it for; the music is what takes me there. The music is the easy part!”
The rapper went on to talk about his current status in music, admitting: “The artists who are mediocre and mid-level aren’t f***ing with me, but all of these super, duper megastars – who are the hottest rappers of our time are f***ing with me, so that’s saying something! Not just one or two, a s**tload of them.”
Musing on his upcoming album – due to drop this summer, the ‘Time’ rapper exclusively revealed that fans will hear a different side to him, sharing: “I’m an artist – and people automatically put me in the ‘rap’ category, but on my album people are going to see that I can make songs. Artists make songs, not every rapper can make songs.”
‘Neon Icon’ is set to hit stores later this year - Stay tuned…
Words: Jason Edwards (@Jason_MVM)