[image-1]We at the City Paper have tried to get an interview with hip-hop star Riff Raff for a while now. Ever since we saw the amusing video tour of his Brazilian crib years ago, we couldn’t help getting sucked into his utterly ridiculous world filled with bling, braided hair, and gold grills. (Did you know that last year a jeweler designed a diamond-covered, fang-filled grill for Riff Raff?) The dude’s popularity is definitely thanks to the absurd persona he’s created, his baffling overindulgence, and his ability to make a mockery of himself.
From his start nearly a decade ago, Riff Raff brought all the extravagance and hilarity he could muster to YouTube, ad-libbing and freestyling his way into internet fame. By 2012, he was collaborating with Diplo, Skrillex, Usher, and Soulja Boy and getting into internet fights with the creators of Spring Breakers, the 2012 movie starring James Franco that’s speculated to be largely inspired by Riff Raff.
This week the rapper announced the launch of his own label, Neon Nation, a $4 million joint venture with Stampede Management and distributor BMG, released the 808 Mafia-produced single “Carlos Slim,” and revealed that his new album Peach Panther is due out sometime this year. Yet somehow, this busy and bizarre creature made time for little ol’ us yesterday.
When we were finally granted a last-minute chance to speak to Riff Raff ahead of his show Sunday at Music Farm — sadly, by email only — we responded swiftly, with several members of staff contributing inquiries about everything from the launch of the label to his hair, his hygiene, and Katy Perry. While he ignored some of our silly questions, he was all too happy to (kind of) answer most of them. Enjoy.
City Paper: Congrats on Neon Nation. Who’s up next on the label?
Riff Raff: We aren’t only looking for musicians — we are looking for actors, actresses, fashion designers, live instrument players, graphix designers, home designers, just highly intelligent individuals who are motivational, inspiring, and creative.
CP: What’s with the line, “We are the same, I am an alien, we are not the same, I’m flying to Pennsylvania” [as heard on YouTube video A Day with Riff Raff Vol. 2 in which Riff Raff freestyles inside a moving vehicle]?
RR: I think everyone comes from a different perspective and walk of life, so everyone is an alien to everyone unless you are with them every day. But even then you still need to learn how they operate or they may be unpredictable.
CP: What does your daily grill maintenance entail?
RR: I brush them daily like teeth, and I polish them. I have excellent hygiene.
CP: Loved the denim dreams you and Katy Perry were at the VMAs last year. Are you and Katy still tight?
RR: When we pulled up in that tangerine Lamborghini and stepped out with custom-made, hand-crafted Versace outfits from Donatello Versace herself, it was a monumental time in history.
CP: Would you rather have a baby hand attached to your forehead or a unicorn horn?
RR: Probably just go full cotton-candy unicorn.
CP: How often do you change your hairstyle, and what’s next?
RR: I have about 77 hair styles. It’s a Versace variety pack.
CP: Why did you go with the moniker Riff Raff?
RR: Jody Highroller a.k.a. the Neon Python a.k.a. the Peach Panther a.k.a. The Cranberry Vampire
CP: Tell us about your diet — do you eat raw eggs like Rocky?
RR: Chipotle/ Taco Bell/ Firehouse Subs
CP: You have a purple house! What is so sexy about the color purple?
PP: The Codeine Castle … Purple is royalty. I’m the Freestyle Prince.
CP: What was the last thing you bought from the middle of the mall?
PP: Wetzel Pretzels with nacho cheese dipping sauce and lemonade.
CP: What’s better? Whip-its or the pass-out game?
PP: Whip-its are kinda cool. u gotta be in a memory-foam bed, tho
CP: Myrtle Beach or Panama City?
PP: Can I have both!?
Yes, Riff Raff. Yes, you can.