May 24, 2012

Doc Zeus has now written three consecutive posts of praise. The Mayans may still be right.

[Ed Note: My feature on Riff Raff appears today in LA Weekly. Rice included.]

Buddy cop films and Judd Apatow have taught us that the metaphysical chemistry of two opposite bros forming an unlikely friendship is the most powerful thing in the universe. From a certain distance, I could not imagine a partnership more ripe for musical disaster than Riff Raff and Action Bronson. Riff Raff is the ex-contestant on a G-list reality show turned semi-competent novelty rapper, while the gruff Bronson is this year’s great (well…white) New York traditionalist rap messiah and contender for the rapper most likely to body slam cornball wannabes through the wreckage of a flaming table. Despite their differences, the union of Riff Raff and Action Bronson managed to create one of the year’s most enjoyable songs, “Bird On A Wire.”

“Hot Shots Part Deux” is the sequel to their unlikely triumph and is just as deeply weird and enjoyable as the first outing. Rhyming over a slow rolling beat with fellow white boy, Dana Coppafeel, the boys rap about decadent lifestyles of cars, women and weed in verse as outlandishly fly as possible. Riff and Bronson might be as stylistically different as children’s finger-painting and 16th Century Flemish realism, but their artistic DNA remains remarkably similar and thus entirely complimentary. Bronson’s all-in-the-details formalisms might stand on the complete opposite of Riff Raff’s blunt southern drawl and bizzaro fashion sense but both have a unique flair for the Rawsian absurd and lace their rhymes with a love for obscure pop culture .

A true yin and yang element exists in their chemistry. Bronson plays the (improbable) leading man with Riff Raff content to be the duo’s shuffling court jester. As a solo artist, Riff Raff might be the equivalent of an audio urinary tract infection but as the ToeJam to Bronson’s thundering Earl, he manages to find the perfect role for himself. The world doesn’t need a white Soulja Boy, anyway.

I want an album and a tour.


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