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The Scarlet & Black

Gardner will attract the Riffraff tonight

By Geo Gomez

Today, Friday February 15, will conclude with a concert full of dance and hype. If there’s one great way to kick-start this weekend, it’s with DJ Sober and RiFF RaFF.

The first act coming to Gardner tonight is DJ Sober, a DJ and producer from Detroit who has a very capable style that is gleaming with finesse. His mixes are what you would expect at a cool club located in the back VIP section of another club, where the walls are covered in fur, the drinks are steaming and the bodies are grooving.

His mixes range from the smoothness of R&B slow jams to infectious pop energy reminiscent of ’80s Janet Jackson, and everything in between. If you tingle at the thought of the close quarters of a club, but can’t imagine entering the fray to the likes of the Top 20 on the radio, DJ Sober is for you. He’ll get you slinking onto the floor and lighting up tiles like a smooth criminal. This is one DJ that’s in a class of his own, and will bring the class out of you too.

RiFF RaFF’s class, on the other hand, stopped at the 10th grade, literally—the high school dropout turned self-made musician is from Houston, Texas. RiFF RaFF’s songs are mainly Southern trap-like hip-hop songs.

His song “Jose Canseco” is driven by a beat like that of rap songs like “In My White Tee,” except the beat is accentuated by sharp electronic twangs, which bring the listener into a shoulder bumping rhythm. This beat makes it incredibly easy to join in, not to mention the horrendously catchy chorus that goes, “If you see somebody hatin’ point em out.”

The laidback beat also fits his relaxed delivery style, which doesn’t rely on speed. Regardless of short pauses sprinkled between his bars, RiFF RaFF throws down verses like they’re good enough to stand on their own. Granted, some of them are, like his verse that goes: “I got these haters hot, like global warming. But I swang without warning get in your ass like that charmin’.”

Now, when one first sees RiFF RaFF, one is tempted to think he’s a joke. He was on the second season of MTV’s G’s to Gents, a reality show that tried to turn classless dudes into gentlemen. But, in my opinion, his music is as legit as other Southern Trap music.

He’s got all the makings of a Trap Music rapper. Absolutely decked out in tattoos: an MTV tattoo on his neck, Bart Simpson on his chest and the NBA logo on his arm. He has insane amounts of jewelry—from his finger rings to his Icee necklaces to his golden grillz, this man is gleaming. He’s Rap Game James Franco. He raps about his ice, his ride and his drugs. So what’s not to love?

Additionally, he seems to be a showman. His outlandish style recalls the eccentricities of Salvador Dali, who sought to create his own reality by imbuing his life and mind with fantastic imaginations. RiFF seems to have this same attitude:

“I just gotta live in my own reality realm tunnel. Like [people say] ‘Oh, that’s not real, that’s not real life.’ but this is my world. From here, I can just do whatever I want. Go here go there do whatever I want.”

Granted, RiFF RaFF’s style isn’t so focused on philosophical or artistic pursuits. Rather, it seems to solidify RiFF’s effort to just not give a f*ck about what people think of him, his music or his style. And maybe it’s working out for him.

He just recently signed with Mad Decent, Diplo’s hot and relatively fresh label company that boasts bangers like Maluca and Dillon Francis. As a welcoming present, RiFF got a $45,000 chain of the Cheshire Cat with “RiFF RaFF” bedazzled on his buoyant tail, while the cat’s behind is adorned with “polka dot jelly bean emeralds” label that reads “Mad Decent”.

Whether mad decent or mad scientist, RiFF RaFF is bringing his rhymes to Gardner February 15, and he’s gonna make a ruckus.

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