There are far worse rappers on the radio and definitely more annoying personalities that take up our airwaves, but why exactly is Riff Raff famous? Is it simply the idea of a white gangster rapper trying desperately to become a mixture of Scarface and Master P that makes us want to watch?
Riff Raff was born Horst Simcoe in Houston, Texas, in 1982. His parents were a maid and a Vietnam War vet with PTSD who managed a Wal-Mart. Riff Raff was the middle child, growing up in love with basketball and Vanilla Ice. Raised in a suburb, he was outside the Houston rap scene and spent most of his time playing basketball. His neighbors described him as a "shy, clean-cut kid" and a "bookworm."
Fast forward a decade and Horst reappears as Riff Raff, coated in diamonds, ridiculous tattoos, a zig-zag beard right out of a '90s boy band, notched eyebrows and a bedazzled grill. Horst had either gone through a profound personality overhaul or he had created the perfect caricature of what he thought America wanted from their famous people. Regardless of the motives, Riff Raff was out of the bottle and there was no putting him back in.
Around 2008 he made his own rap CDs and passed them out at malls. In 2016 he's hanging out with Drake and Justin Bieber after James Franco played a version of him in "Spring Breakers."
I think I figured it out. Riff Raff is the Keyser Soze of the rap game. As soon as the world is tired of his shenanigans, he'll convince the world he didn't exist and just like that... he'll be gone.
Friday, Feb. 24, 7pm
Domino Room, 51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend