Peering through a set of piercing blue eyes is viral interweb sensation Riff Raff, sometimes called Jody Highroller – the Texan rapper who can best be described as enchanting.
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You might think he’s joking, but put aside his parodied 80s, early 90s persona and you’ll see a rap game with the intricate word play of Lil’ Wayne and the absurd lyrical content of a psychedelic children’s fairytale. His almost cartoon-like image is the inspiration behind James Franco’s character in Harmony Korine’s forthcoming film Spring Breakers, so claims Riff, although Korine himself hasn’t confirmed this. In fact, we can’t confirm much about the perplexing rapper, not even his age, but what’s for certain is that he is indeed a child of ‘The MTV Generation’, so much so that he got the logo tattooed on the side of his neck after appearing on MTV’s reality series From G’s to Gents. Further proving his affinity for all things commercial, he acts as a walking billboard for other brand logos including BET (Black Entertainment Television), worldstarhiphop.com, NBA (which Riff refers to as the National Ballers Association), and the logo of his former affiliate, Soulja Boy’s label SODMG. Aside from his solo act, he is also part of the maybe not-so-unlikely rap group Three Loco alongside comedian Andy Milonakis and former MTV VJ-turned rapper Dirt Nasty. In person, Riff Raff is surprisingly shy and mild-mannered and makes his desire for fame and success very apparent, offering plenty of creative input to the photos. Now signed to Diplo’s label Mad Decent, Riff Raff wants the world to know that he really means business. During his show in Toronto we chatted with him about neon kangaroos, caramel rolos and unicorns.
At what moment in your life did you decide you wanted to become a rapper? I was five years old and my pets and myself would go into an enchanted forest and eat enchanted porridge and eat four course meals of lobster while sitting on three horses.
What were you like as a kid? My society and world of friends during that time could better answer that query; I lived like a wild fluorescent neon kangaroo.
Who has influenced you musically? Fleetwood Mac, Garth Brooks, the moon, cheese sticks, caramel rolos, Bon Jovi, Kelly Kapowski, Brian Bosworth, Wade Boggs, Ultimate Warrior, neon spandex, MTV.
How do you feel about being classified as a ‘viral rapper’? Everyone around the world knows me as the biggest rising neon icon of 2013. It feels good to be ranked number 1.
Who do you want to do a collab with? Anyone who is the best in their lane.
Apparently James Franco is playing a character based on you in his
upcoming movie. How did that come about? Harmony Korine the director is a good friend of mine. I can’t wait to see this masterpiece of movie art. I expect this movie to be a classic! Everyone will love it. I saw clips and James Franco did great. He’s one of the best actors of our time, he is very versatile.
So you’re signed with Mad Decent now. What did you do to celebrate? Big huge party, helicopter with Diplo, Diplo bought a Lamborghini, went bowling with neon bikini babes. Great night! A lot of rice.
Which is your favourite tattoo? NBA. National Ballers Association.
Tell me about your style. Where does it come from? I’m an alien. I come from my own world in my own mind of non-adjustable thought patterns.
What’s the best thing about being you? Freedom
Who is Jody Highroller? Good question.
Tell us something about you that we’d be surprised about… I invented a cologne. And I’m a barber.
What are you working on at the moment? Dame Grease mixtape with Hologram Panda, a Harry Fraud mixtape called Neon Vibes, Diplo album and a couple of talk show offers.
Message to the haters… I hope you can do and find things in your life that make you happy enough to focus on your future more than focusing on searching for other’s faults.
Text: Hazel Ong
Photography: Karen Roze