Posted by on June 19, 2014

I like RiFF RAFF. It’s no secret. And not in that ironic “hipster” way. I find him infinitely fascinating, and can’t help but cheer for him. Sure, he’s polarizing. Many love him and many hate him. What you have to respect about RiFF RAFF is that he’s not afraid to be his own man. He’s original, hilarious, full of contradictions, and isn’t afraid to live outside the box.

He’s come a long way since his first appearance on “G’s To Gents”. Many dismissed him as a novelty artist, destined to make laughable cameos on World Star. Strangely, Diplo discovered his videos, signed him, and here we are. Come June 24th, RiFF’s appropriately titled “NEON iCON” album drops via Mad Decent, and is arguably the most heavily anticipated record to release in 2014.

RIFF RAFF’s brand of hip-hop is a friendly one. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a large part of the appeal. There’s something for everyone in RIFF’s music, which is a large reason why he’s been so successful up to this point. Somehow, his music is enjoyed by impressionable young white female teenagers, hip-hop purists, and people who write for Vice and hang out in Brooklyn.

Which leads me to the album. It has high points. It has low points. It’s disjointed at times, but contains hits like “VIP Pass To My Heart” and “Maybe You Love Me” featuring Mike Posner. It’s an honest body of work, accurately representing all of RIFF’s wide range of influences ranging from H-town hip-hop, EDM, and country music. Is “NEON iCON” a classic? No. But it’s a solid effort from an artist who continues to hold our attention and keep us entertained. In this climate, that’s all that seems to matter.

The ball is in RiFF RAFF’s court. I can’t wait to see what he does next.



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