What’s Eating Rifford Raff?
Not so neon.
Complex TV posted a video interview with RiFF RAFF from SXSW yesterday, and it might take the gold medal for simultaneously painful and delightful things to watch. See, for whatever reason (a harsh come down, perhaps) RiFF RAFF was SUPER aggy. I mean, sure, SXSW is a cluster fuck and there are a ton of egos competing for attention and it has been said that the festival/conference/gathering has officially lost its way. There are a number of reasons to be butthurt and in a less than a stellar mood, but RiFF RAFF’s demeanor here is just – what, why – and a peculiar twist in the rapper’s career, which so heavily relies on image.
See, as much as I feel like I shouldn’t like RiFF RAFF; the idea that all of this is a put on, the below average bars, the insistence on him being a star; I sort of do. He’s affable and funny, and has a penchant for coining phrase that’s likely unparalleled.
But all of that is dependent on him being likable. If we are to believe him, that this is not a character he’s inhabiting, but his real true self, then what are we to make of the moody out-of-it-ness that’s on display above or in this interview with Pitchfork? Yes, rappers are people too and people have bad days and sometimes interviews don’t go as planned. But this feels different. Maybe it’s because RiFF Raff has a video series ON Complex TV. Maybe it’s because in it, he asks for a print cover even though he’s yet to release a full length album. Maybe it’s because this isn’t the first time we’ve seen dude show up for camera time and put in fractional effort.
I don’t really know. But it’s clear that he’s got big personality and that he can entertain. In fact, I would say those are his two leading attributes as an artist, and when he brings neither to the table, what are we left with exactly? Not much. So snap out of it RiFF, put on a happy face, and give an actual interview. If that’s too much to ask, then the lights might be dimming on the Neon Icon when all’s said and done.