Riff Raff: Whatever somebody thinks of me, I'm probably the opposite
On Saturday evening, Riff Raff and company graced the Fine Line with their own special brand of rap insanity. Inflatable sea animals soared over the crowd, and the stage was a frenzy of rapping, push-ups, and poppin' bottles.
While stalking Riff on the internet in preparation for writing my review of the show, I couldn't help but to become further intrigued. The man himself is an enigma. What I saw on Friday night only served to further pique my curiosity.
After his performance, I was able to corner Riff downstairs at the Fine Line, but there was such a crazy party vibe there that Riff and DJ Dolfz insisted that I join them for brunch the next morning so that we could kick back and have a real conversation.
See Also: Riff Raff at the Fine Line, 12/21/13
I brought some questions that his fans had for him, but mainly I just wanted to get to know the real person behind the internet sensation. Riff walked in with DJ Dolfz and their right-hand-man, Kane (if you were at the show on Saturday, Kane was the extremely tall, intimidating man with gold teeth and a gold chain who joined Riff onstage), and I immediately felt the chill vibes they all exude.
Over lobster cakes and eggs Benedict, we shot the shit like we had been homies forever. Only once did another patron at the restaurant approach our table to have her photo taken with Riff -- she was so nervous, it was adorable. Before heading off to Iowa for their next show, they all gave me a hug and thanked me for hanging out.
Gimme Noise: Did you have a nickname when you were a kid?
Riff: Yeah. It was JODi SHiNOBi. 'Cause I would take swords to school, and I would try to have show and tell every day. But they were like, okay, you can't have show and tell every day. I'm like yeah...you can. I'm like yeah, every day. Show and tell.
So you wanted to be a sword fighter, then?
Um, I can't say that. I can't say that.
Okay, well when did you decide you wanted to be a rapper?
I didn't ever decide to be a rapper, I think this is...
DJ Dolfz: I think he was kind of born into it.
Riff: Yeah, I think this is just a natural situation that happened. But, I'm not just this rapper. I mean, I'm moving towards other things. I don't know, I can't even say that I'll be doing rap music for the next couple of years. Like, right now what I'm getting into is inventing things. So I think if that happens, I mean I might not do music anymore.
What have you invented?
I can't say that. But I have inventions in the works...
Cool. So, your fans want to know if you actually do skateboard.
No, not really, I just do it for fun. If I really tried to I would probably fall down too much, and that's not nice. The ground is not nice.
Kane: Like, 'Oh, thanks ground.'
Riff: This is the thing. Gravity is not nice. I never had someone be like, 'Oh, check out this gravity!'
Kane: 'The gravity is nice today.'
Riff: 'Check out what the gravity did to my knee.' Or like, a 70-year-old lady: 'Hey! Look what the gravity did to my tits! Look how saggy they are!' Gravity sucks.
They want to know how you feel about Miley Cyrus. They want to know if you'd sleep with Miley Cyrus, if you had the opportunity?
Riff: I'd be appreciative of the opportunity, but I don't know, that opportunity would have to present itself.
OK. Kane, you're a Justin Bieber fan?
Kane: I'm not a Bieber fan, I just like him. He's a cool guy.
Riff: I'm a Bieber fan!
DJ Dolfz: You know what it is? When you see Bieber, he's constantly with security, and he's looking kind of...like, people assume 'douchery'. But he's just trying to get through a crowd, because people are trying to attack him! Imagine getting death threats every day?
Have you guys had any situations like that, where people just won't leave you alone?
Riff: Yeah! Every day, all day! I mean, I do what I want, but...you're gonna get stopped a lot. Like, 'Do a freestyle for me!' But if I don't feel like doing something, I'm not gonna do it. I'm not a puppet, I'm not gonna dance, I'm not a clown.
DJ Dolfz: Some people assume that the RiFF RAFF is an on and off button. Its him, though. That's how he is. Its not on and off.
Riff: I mean, if I'm happy, I'm happy. If I'm sad, I'm sad. You can't just walk up to LeBron James when he's in the park with his kids and be like, 'Shouldn't you be playing basketball somewhere? Shouldn't you be shooting jumpers, and working out?' I mean, he's just chillin'! It doesn't mean he can't play basketball. It means that he's chillin' right now! It doesn't mean that I can't write songs, or do music, it just means I'm not doing that shit right now. I'm off the clock.
Riff: Whatever I want.
DJ Dolfz: You'd be surprised at how simple of a life he leads and wants to live. I see him at his happiest when its just him and his dog at home. We live very normal lives. We just like to relax and chill, be interesting and interested.
Riff: Yeah. At my shows, I have a clone that goes onstage. I'm backstage, petting my dog and watching the show on a security camera...Yeah, usually I'm at the house, doing laundry, pole vaulting, working on my shot put. I don't do the ones where you actually run. I just do the ones where you throw shit around.
DJ Dolfz, how did you and RiFF start working together?
DJ Dolfz: I originally started as an EDM producer and DJ. Trapzillas was my focus. When RiFF and I started working together, the synergy was there on a friend level. It just worked.
How did you guys meet?
Riff: We actually met on this cruise. It was a cruise ship. It was called 'Holy Ship.' It was pretty crazy. We're at the casino at 4 am. I walk in, 'Hey everybody! Drinks on me! Food on me!" About ten minutes later, the waiter slides a note on my table. It says, 'Look to your left. You don't have to pay for none of my shit.' I look over, and its him! And he's just throwing money in the air. The waiter brings three bottles to my table, and he's like, 'These bottles are from that guy over there. He said he doesn't want your money.'
So I'm looking at these bottles and I'm like hmm...this guy's pissing me off! So I take the bottles and I throw them on the ground. $2700 bottles of Moet, autographed by Michael Jordan himself! Then I'm like hey, I don't like this guy. Next thing you know, we're on the roof, shooting dice. Next thing you know, I'm having lunch with you.
Next thing you know, you're here in the Midwest.
DJ Dolfz: I will say this. I definitely underestimated the hip-hop crowds in the Midwest. They've been more alive and more active than anything I've seen in the other major cities.
Yeah! Minneapolis is crazy about rap. Just crazy. There is a ton of music here. There was a cool techno show here last night, during your show (Black Asteroid). I listen to a lot of techno, and industrial music.
DJ Dolfz: Trent Reznor is God.
Riff: "You can have it all...my empire of dirt..."
Kane: Oh, I used to love that song. The Nine Inch Nails remake that Johnny Cash did. That's a depressing song, but I like it.
Riff: I think that's the saddest song ever, and the saddest video in history. He knew, making that song, 'I want this to be the last song I make that anyone hears from me.'
DJ Dolfz: That's crazy when you make that kind of decision, like, how am I going to end this? I'm going to cover a Nine Inch Nails song. I always look at those little moments, like those are the things I learn from.
If you guys covered a song, what would it be?
DJ Dolfz: We've actually talked about this before. A song from The Smiths, but we're not sure which one.
Riff, we're both Aquarians. Do you read your horoscopes?
Riff: No, but I look at whores through telescopes.
You don't have a girlfriend. Are you looking for one? Are you the heart breaker or the one who gets your heart broken?
Riff: I'm not looking for a girlfriend right now, I'm too busy. I can't have my heart broken, I'm too busy with my other stuff. Broken heart, that's a harsh thing. You have to be really into someone for that to happen. I've been in situations where we liked each other and things didn't work out, and there's a moment where its kind of sad, but its like damn, I got a lot of other shit to do.
What is your dream girl like?
Riff: She's wearing neon, she's butterscotch, she has a tan, she has smooth skin and no makeup. She looks pretty, she looks happy. Winning! Opposites attract! I think people have the wrong impression of me. I think they see me and they think that I roll with people who are like me. No, its the opposite way. I'm me, but look what team I work with? Diplo. I'm not going in the route the people think I am. Its not on purpose, its just me. People have a skewed perception of me. Think of me as 'opposites attract.' Whatever somebody thinks of me, I'm probably the opposite.
Do you want kids some day?
Riff: Jodi Husky is enough for me right now. I don't need kids. He's pretty famous. He has write-ups in dog magazines.
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