Jody Highroller’s long-delayed collaborative mixtape with Dame Grease, the producer who crafted some of the best New York rap records of the last twenty years with everyone from DMX to Max B, has finally dropped. Hologram Panda maybe the most focused full-body of work Riff’s ever done, and songs like the above track (which employs a Manson-esque hook), as well as mixtape standout “Peppermint Tint”, find Riff exploring new sounds while still keeping his trademark absurdity. Download Hologram Panda here
my homie Adam and his cameraman Chris Longs caught up with Riff Raff last week for a new music video for a Cisco Adler-produced banger which should be dropping soon. This is the behind the scenes footage where Riff Raff explains some of the lyrics behind his classic “Freestyle Dentist”, and also does some bunny-hops. In case you were wondering, yes, Riff Raff is totally insane. Look for that video on No Jumper
A week ago, I saw Joshton Peas talking about how his friend introduced him to Kirko Bangz (in a post that I can’t find because of Tumblr’s gimpy search engine/my own inadequacies). Either way, his friend described Kirko as the rapper “Drake wants to be.” Throughout Progression 2, despite borrowing instrumentals from Drake on a couple occasions, Kirko definitely feels like the embodiment of the persona Drake’s created since So Far Gone. That smooth H-Town player - not nearly as vulgar as Pimp C, and far more empathetic of the ladies. Kirko never reaches Drake’s simp levels by any means - Kirko’s anything but that.
Kirko owes his style far more to being raised in Houston than anything though. The essence of that city is far more organic, and that’s not just because Paul Wall pops his Slim Fast head up on the chopped and screwed “Knowmtalmbout”. With a debut album sure to be put into motion sometime this year off the success of Drank In My Cup, Kirko should be able to make a name for himself in 2012.
Riff Raff SODMG & Soulja Boy - Versace Bentley (SODMG, 2012)
To combat the rumors of Riff Raff’s SODMG allegiance being a hoax, it appears that Soulja Boy has finally decided to start recording with his most valuable asset. Versace Bentley is the first in the line of many songs scheduled to come about as a the result of this new union, and a joint album, Freestyle Heavyweights, is in the works. Maybe Soulja can help Riff Raff focus? That’s all that Riff is really missing right now.
Versace Bentley is obviously freestyle, but both sound good. Hearing Soulja’s quirky adlibs run over Riff Raff’s rap is a bit awkward, but entertaining enough. The minimal beat allows for Riff to flex heavily. Soulja is hot like Pensacola.
Riff Raff and his good friend Kid Sister hooked up once again, this time for one of the best Christmas songs ever conceived on Kid Sister’s label. Gathered around a mall Santa, Riff waxes scriptures of Johnny Bravo and Herman Cain, with his baby Jesus swag turnt to the max.
Riff Raff SODMG - Golden Streets (Riff Raff Records, 2011)
Undoubtedly one of the standouts from Riff Raff’s uneven, unfinished Sour & Gunpowder, Golden Streets finds Riff at his most somber (and sober, I take it). The depressing vibes this song gives off were immediately evidenced the moment that beat kicks in, and the “life of a hustler, life of a player” chorus is said in such a downtrodden manner that Riff Raff has never expressed before. It’s really strange to hear Riff Raff’s inflection change so drastically, and that’s why this song just hits so damn hard.
Like Gucci’s Neva Had Shit, when an artist who is traditionally known for little more than being a goofball suddenly gets serious and kicks knowledge, it connects so much thoroughly than artists who spend the majority of their career making tracks in the same vein. Golden Streets shows that Riff Raff is capable of being a character with more dimensions, despite the fact that he chooses not to. Which makes it all the more interesting, because frankly, why doesn’t he?
Again, Riff Raff’s name is listed as “MTV Riff Raff” in the beginning of the video. Can Riff Raff just stop this SODMG charade and sign with Mad Decent? Diplo has his interests in mind far more than Soulja does.
Riff Raff’s album with Diplo is still set for a Spring 2012 release date as of this writing, but that hasn’t stopped him from dropping two videos for the project in the past month. Diplo (and Mad Decent in general) can be really hit or miss when it comes to their hip-hop production, and even though Rice Out isn’t as infectious as Golden Child, it has a certain pop-gleam to it that’s been missing from Riff Raff’s other work. It’s pretty obvious Riff has a strong desire to cross over (because it means more money, and I can safely assume that’s what this is all about with Riff’s track record), and working with Diplo seems like it’ll be his best chance. Whether or not that translates to great records is another question entirely, but I fuck with this so far.
Also, I have seen this listed as MTV Riff Raff in a few places. Can we please clear up this confusion?
TKO Capone & Riff Raff SODMG - We Like 2 Party (Mixtape, 2011)
The Switch Gears Gang mixtape will be released later today, but for now here’s one of three new mixtapes from Capone and Riff Raff. Capone gets white boy wasted for the first time, and participates in the easiest game of Where’s Waldo seen to date.
B.o.B (feat. Future & Trae) - How Bout Dat (Mixtape, 2011)
Bob released his most recent offering, EPIC (Every Play Is Crucial) *sighs* today, and it’s got a few surprises on it. Aside from featuring Playboy Tre on two tracks instead of his obligatory single guest features (Bob’s treating Tre like he still matters in Bob’s world, so that’s commendable. T.I. should take notes pertaining to Dro), 2 Chainz and Future pop up. 2 Chainz isn’t too shocking, but I really didn’t think Future was in Bob’s linear world of rap. Either he discovered him on the radio when he was visiting his family in Atlanta for Thanksgiving, or Bob’s an even bigger Dungeon Family nerd than I knew. Or maybe he just refers to him as that “Tony Montana guy.” I dunno, I just don’t like these worlds crossing (especially since FUSCHIA is making pop-rap that Bob only wishes he could make).
Regardless, aside from Bob being his boring self and Trae whispering, Future does carry this track to some solid ground with a strong hook (that’s pretty trappy for Bobby Ray, odd considering Future’s experience at crafting those lovey-dovey hooks Bob gives Bruno Mars cocaine money for) and a verse about his favorite beverage. From what I’ve heard of the Bobby Ray tape, it’s not terrible if you like that stuff. You really shouldn’t be here if you like that stuff though.