Riff Raff on Diplo, avoiding VDs, and some zombie-related thing he probably made up
Historically, Riff Raff wouldn't have had much of a chance at being a rap phenomenon, but it's 2012 and the internet exists and so here we are. Though he did grow up in Houston, one of Southern rap's foremost havens, the 27-year-old found his way into the limelight only after appearing on the MTV reality show From G's to Gents in 2009. Following that, he teamed up with funnymen Andy Milonakis and Simon Rex for the comedy-hop troupe Three Loco, and eventually started going viral on a solo basis with songs like "Jose Canseco" and "Marc Jacobs." These days, he's signed with Diplo's Mad Decent imprint on an eight-album deal. A long, strange, zeitgeisty trip, to be sure.
Despite (or maybe because of) the goofiness of Raff's music, there's something weirdly exhilarating about much of it, partly due to his many awesomely ridiculous couplets and partly due to his pairing of Third Coast sounds with electronic party-bombast. In short, yes, Riff Raff is serious -- only in a seemingly not-so-serious way.
Ahead of his appearance at Saturday's Zombie Pub Crawl, we caught up with Riff Raff for an email interview. Predictably, the man's answers tended to be terse and absolutely bananas, but man do they do a good job of reflecting his complete and utter on-another-planet-ness.
(Full disclosure: Mr. Highroller's all caps, lower-case I's, and misspellings have been left intact if only to parallel both his outsized personality and his eternally enamoring Twitter account.)
You have a penchant for naming songs after pop-cultural figures - "Marc Jacobs," "Larry Bird," "Jose Canseco," etc. Who are some other famous people you can imagine rapping about?
You left Soulja Boy's S.O.D. Money Gang label in June and are now signed with Diplo's Mad Decent. Could you discuss the differences between the two labels?
THEY ARE BOTH GREAT LABELS i JUST HAD TO GO WHERE iM THE MAiN FOCUS CUZ iM A FRANCHiSE PLAYER NOT A BENCH WARMER.
How do you feel about being labeled a "YouTube rapper" or an "internet rapper"?
NAMES ARE GiVEN BASED ON WHAT SOCiETY CAN EASiLY CATAGORiZE U AS, SO UNTiL i AM iN MOViES WiTH CiNDY CRAWFORD AND UNTiL i AM ON MTV WiTH LADY GAGA THEN i WiLL BE LABELED AS WHATEVER SOMEONE SAYS.
You're currently managed by Houston rap legend OG Ron C. How far back does your relationship go with him? Were you a fan of his when you were growing up?
WE HAVE KNOW EACH OTHER ABOUT 10 YEARS.
Your Twitter bio advertises you as the "#1 SLEEP WALKiNG BOOTY GRABBER iN SWEDEN." Do you mind explaining how Mr. Highroller attained such a venerable title?
I SLEEP WALK AND I LOVE SWEDEN.
One of the many accessories in your wardrobe is a snake. Have you ever considered pursuing a career in herpetology?
NO I DON'T WANT HERPES.
In light of Saturday's event: What are some of your all-time favorite zombie-related moments in rap? Do you have a favorite horrorcore rapper?
TRANSYLVANIA TANYA & THE HAUNTED TACO TRUCKS ARE PRETTY COOL. [Does anyone know what this is?]
Zombie Pub Crawl is this Saturday, October 13. More details here.
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