Riff Raff at Warehouse Live, 12/1/2013
Just after 11:30 p.m. Sunday night, the modest crowd at Warehouse Live began to grow restless. An hour had passed since a rapper had graced the stage, and grumbles began to be exchanged. Luckily, Houston's own Edgar "DjChop-e" Miranda was able to placate fans with a plethora of local, old-school and modern hip-hop hits as the headliner prepared for the evening.
Finally, Riff Raff emerged from behind the curtain as cheers echoed throughout the sparse venue. Donning a white T-shirt and a single matching glove, a red belt and coordinating Nikes, obnoxiously large rectangular sunglasses and, of course, his signature cornrows, he quickly drew fans into a frenzy. Whipping the microphone cable around the stage, jumping into the photo pit to give fans high fives and waving a towel high in the air.
And so began the pandemonium.
It's difficult to distinguish between who is genuinely enamored of Jody Highroller's music and who's merely along for the wacky ride. Regardless, the small but energetic crowd was in full force Sunday night, chanting along to his trademark brand of nonsensical hip-hop, which has been growing in popularity (or at least infamy) over the past few years.
Salisbury steak sweater? Rap game Chuck Norris? Michelle Obama used to reference tinted windows? Riff Raff's lyricism seems almost random, impossibly unrelated. But perhaps fans' growing infatuation with his music is at least party due to the predictable nature of so many other rap artists who put themselves inside the proverbial "gangster" box.
Comparably, at least Riff Raff takes chances with his music. And if we can entertain the artistic merits of Miley Cyrus and the like, then surely Riff Raff deserves consideration, too.
Personal Bias: I had to see if this guy was for real with my own eyes. He's everything you think.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Your beard is hot."
Random Notebook Dump: I've never seen so many white guys in suits at a rap show before.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS