Jordan Rules: Riff Raff, Ice King of the South

One day in the future, a group of flamingo-haired, brony-tailed, and #Aeropostalecore college kids will be sitting in a Versace lecture hall and taking notes on their iced out tablet devices about...
By    November 14, 2014

RiFF-RaFF-Tip-Toe-Wing-In-My-Jawwdinz-Video-131One day in the future, a group of flamingo-haired, brony-tailed, and #Aeropostalecore college kids will be sitting in a Versace lecture hall and taking notes on their iced out tablet devices about the singularly fascinating career of Jody Highroller. You cannot dismiss Riff Raff because he will continually move the polo goals further, more blindingly colorful, and render you incapable of turning away. This isn’t not satire and it’s not parody, it’s closer to pure concentrated absurdity. Yet all those aimless descriptors seem to fall by the Versace wayside because what can you even say about it other than that it’s Riff Raff being Riff Raff.

And one of Riff’s greatest gifts is that he’s a chameleon. He can do a country song, a pop song, a trap song, and will be the same grilled and gummy-worm braided post-Swishahouse mutation that launched a thousand thinkpieces. Ultimately, none of these things matter because #1 Riff Raff is the most entertaining and we live in a culture of constant entertainment. #2 He has the Internet figured out. #3 He’s actually making some of the strangest most interesting creations conceivable. You might not like him, but you can’t deny that you’ve never seen anything like the “Top Toe-Wing in My Jawdinz” video. For those who don’t know, it’s become one of the finest memes of the last six months. Before even releasing an official video, this had already cracked the far-reaches of Power 106 rotation and inspired hundreds of fan-made videos posted to YouTube and (especially Vine). Here is Urkel and Uncle Jesse Tip Toe-Wing. Here is a beautiful gilded horse. Here are the Teletubbies. You might say that this is silly. I might say that this is what the Internet was created for.

When I interviewed Riff Raff earlier this year, he said that for proper promotion, Mad Decent would have to make a video for every single song on Neon Icon. It would cost them well over a million dollars, but it would be worth it. Who am I to argue? This is one of the best videos of the year, hypnotic and eerie and somewhere between a bizarre 31st Century global weirded Iceland and a Medieval wonderland a la Game of Thrones. Or maybe this is Eskimo Heaven. There is too much going on to single out everything. The silver-lipped winter maidens. The proper use of the phrase “riff raff” to start the video. Riff Raff wailing and writhing shirtless in the snow with purple hair and blank shining diamond eyes. His smile flips between inviting you into his world to pure evil, in less time than it takes for a new round of Jordan’s to sell out. There are dancers and And-1 dribbling.  There is the iguana able to withstand the shattering cold because Riff Raff clearly has figured out how to bio-genetically engineer cold-blooded creatures to survive the frost. A praying mantis. Skulls splashed with fuschia and blue. The beat is just minimalism, all soul snuffed out of it until it’s just repetitive and almost martial. If you wanted to throw a dance party in a Siberian gulag, this is what you’d play and then the work prisoners would overthrow the guards and tip toe in their Russian peasant shoes until escaping in the nearest Mango Lexus.

This is its own kind of masterpiece. The boundaries of common sense, logic, and realism pushed out on an ice floe. This makes Rick Ross look like Rhymefest. If you need rap that you can empathize with, you also need rap at its most fantastic, imaginative, and demented. Riff Raff has created his own world. You’re either in or you’re out. And if you don’t get it, he’s charitable enough to supply you with a personal Versace sleepbag.

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!