Once considered the basis for the James Franco character Alien in the film Springbreakers (even by the artist, himself), RiFF RAFF has made a name for himself in the rap game as being a bit of a ‘wildman’. In the brief snapshot (in time) that Vancouver Weekly was afforded to speak with the rapper, he was anything but the ‘loose cannon’ some have painted him as. In fact, RiFF RAFF was downright laid back, and in his impulsive way, professional. RiFF RAFF is on a world tour at the moment that sees him stop off at Vancouver’s Harbour Event Centre, April 14-15. However, his tour ‘make-busy work’ involves shooting music videos between shows that seems to have much of the Hologram Panda’s passion right now.
“A video for every song is my new thing on Aquaberry Aquarius, “Rootbeer Float Ghost” has got a video that drops Tuesday. “Jody Highroller.com” is going to drop in a couple of weeks, I am not going to do the song if I don’t want to do the video,” RiFF RAFF wasted no time in expressing.
The rap artist can’t be mad at the single “Test Drive” off of the late January release of his third LP (to go along with his 12 mixtapes and lone EP). “Test Drive”, Featuring Wiz Khalifa is weaving its way up the charts. “Oh yeah, with ‘Khalif’? We’re going to be shooting the video pretty soon. We just shot the forthcoming video for “Lamborghini Leglock”, and I have a new weed in production with the company that is doing Khalifa Kush (Cannabis products). There is also another strain (of cannabis) coming out soon called Red Carpet Kush. “Red Carpet Kush” is a track that our DJ put together with Questlove (The Roots / Jimmy Fallon) signed on to do the video; we’ll send you the link.”
The good-natured poet is clearly on a video trip right now, “Fuck, ‘Tiptoes In My Drawers II” is going to be coming in a month or so. We’ve got a video coming out for “My Ice”. We’re not done with that whole Aquaberry Aquarius album. Hell, we still have shoots lined up for that Balloween album (released in October).
The Neon Icon must have walked out of the recording studio and directly onto the tour bus.
“Yeah, that’s pretty much it, and I have another album on the way.”
With February, March and the first couple weeks of April spent touring the U.S; the rapper is almost set to embark on his Canadian leg of the world tour. Referencing the RiFF RAFF track featuring Danny Brown and Gucci Mane “I Drive By”, just what can we expect when he arrives in Lotus Land? “This is my biggest Canadian tour. I’m doing around 20-25 cities when we usually only do eight or nine cities (when visiting Canada). This time we are going to go check out some new places. I look forward to the (Canadian) tour; it’s going to be interesting (because) I am going to be shooting a lot of music videos up there. I always have fun in Vancouver, I like the fresh air and the weather. I love Canada; it’s got a different more peaceful vibe than the U.S.”
With Canada’s reputation for being difficult to tour straight through without dipping below the ‘49th’ well known by booking agents, RiFF RAFF has wisely mixed up his commute across our fair land. “I hate sleeping or waiting in airports, I would rather ride in the back of a moving bus then have to sit around waiting for an aeroplane; so it will be some flights and some tour buses. After this (upcoming) Canadian tour there is the U.K. (tour).”
With perhaps just a dash of hyperbole, RiFF RAFF rattled off some outrageous math. “We have 1000 shows this year; we’re doing 3.5 shows a day. Europe right after Canada and then we do Australia and Asia. I’ll probably have to take a couple of months off in the summertime and go on vacation.”
And just where does someone who travels as much as RiFF RAFF go for vacation?
“I can’t tell you!” says the MC with a serious tone. “Otherwise it wouldn’t be a vacation”, the rapper’s grill-filled smile can be heard over the phone as his jokes indicate he’s getting comfortable.“Nah, I like to go to tropical places. I like to stay around the equator. I don’t just want to hang out in Miami; I like to go to new places. But, I don’t know where I am going to go next.”
Before the conversation with the care-free MC concluded we were compelled to ascertain just what exactly an ‘Aquaberry Aquarius’ was. “My birthday is January 29th, and I wanted it to tie around that (released January 30th). It was time for another album, and it (Aquaberry Aquarius) just seemed right.”
Vancouver Weekly: Pardon our ignorance, but what is an ‘aquaberry?’
RiFF RAFF: “It’s a colour that I made up! It’s kind of like a teal colour, or turquoise / neon-ish.”
VW: Of course it is.
RR: “We’re cool, man. I am about to get some sushi really quick. Get some Sake Bombs started for the day. We’ll see you in Vancouver; we’ll get some shots, we’ll have a good time.”