At face value, Riff Raff SODMG is a Southern rapper. Search him on YouTube, and you’ll tumble down a wormhole of rants and rap videos, some shot with an MTV gloss, others that look like they were filmed on an iPhone during a coke binge. (Watch this, this, or this, and you’ll get a good sense of who he is musically.) But he’s also a where-did-he-come-from riddle. The short answer is the Fonzworth Bentley MTV reality show From G’s to Gents, but the longer answer is a mystery we’re not quite ready to solve. And while most people we talk to still don’t know who he is, Riff Raff is very famous on the internet. Currently, he has 177,783 Twitter followers and counting along with the millions of people who have watched his videos. According to Gawker, he is “the most viral human being in music,” and in a step towards legitimacy—if that word still exists when it comes to the music industry—Riff Raff was recently signed by Diplo to his Mad Decent record label.
Still, none of this compares to Riff Raff’s biggest claim to fame, which is that that James Franco’s braided-up, tatted-out thug/drug dealer/gangster in Harmony Korine’s upcoming movie Spring Breakers (you’ve all seen the photos)—was inspired by him.
Earlier this week, in a stroke of mad luck, someone put us in touch with Riff Raff via e-mail. We introduced ourselves, and said we’d be interested in working with him. Minutes later, a response from someone who signed their message, “Jody Highroller” (The web tells us that’s another one of Riff Raff’s names) arrived in our inbox. He demanded to be on the cover of our magazine, but when we told him that wasn’t possible at this time, he agreed to answer some advice questions from our readers instead. His answers surprised us, made us laugh, and in some cases, warmed our hearts.
Dear Riff Raff, I hate my fucking job and I want to die, but I need to pay rent, feed my cat, and support my drinking habit. What should I do?
Life is so hard, and when you don’t feel like you are very successful, then you reach for someone to love. But when you have no one to love or to give your heart to, then you can lose your mind. When you get free time, even if it’s for an hour after work while you are relaxing with the cat who needs you, then think to yourself: What makes you happy? What would be the steps to get there? Write it on paper, short-term and long-term goals that you want to be happy and successful, and stay away from anyone who brings you down. Although that is hard at a job you hate, keep thinking of what makes you happy and use that as fuel to put you where YOU NEED TO BE.
Dear Riff Raff, Who should I vote for, Obama or Romney?
Vote for RiFF RaFF. I’m the president who has the goal of making sure the homeless get homes instead of spending billions of dollars on ammunition to kill humans, and leave USA parents stressed beyond belief, breaking up homes and making parents roll the dice as their 19-year-old son or daughter fly around the world to engage in dangerous war. And I will give away free $11,000 per month for whoever. Yt doesn’t matter becuz money is printed up 24 hours a day anyways.
Dear Riff Raff, No matter how much whitening toothpaste I use, my teeth are still crazy yellow. Can you recommend a good pair of grillz?
Go to the dentist and invest in getting all your teeth cleaned/whitened/straightened. Then go get you a grill afterwards. You don’t wanna end up with Donkey Yuck Mouth. Go brush them damn chopsticks.
Dear Riff Raff, When someone asks me what my favorite movie is, what should I tell them to sound cool?
Blood Sport with Jean Claude Van Damme. And also tell them your favorite movie is Spring Breakers. It hasn’t come out yet, but it’s directed by Harmony Korine, and starring Selena Gomez, Gucci Mane, and the superstar James Franco, co-insuring with RiFFRaFF and the Netherlands grow fierce in the Tundras of your cadance. Best movie in history. Genius Face.
Dear Riff Raff, I’m no longer attracted to my boyfriend. Do I tell him, or just start sleeping with other people behind his back?
Damn, that’s cold. He bought you a car, and you started feeding him too many cheeseburger hamburger helper meals. If you really love him, then tell him to go to the gym with you and eat healthier to lose weight, or y’all workout together. But if you don’t like him that much, then tell him you are done so that. Y’all can move on and start being happy again. But I get a feeling you are in the middle zone, where you love him, but don’t wanna leave him cuz y’all are comfortable together. It’s dangerous, becuz y’alls frustration can turn into domestic violence really quick if he starts finding out you are cheating on him becuz he is too fat or ugly or whatever the case is. What it boils down to is what makes sense to you. Ask yourself: Do you really love him enough to force him to change? Or are you just not attracted to him whatsoever. Cuz if you aren’t attracted anymore, then it sounds like you are done. Or maybe you can send me a picture of you and I can tell you what to do. Yeah, that would also probably be the best answer.
Dear Riff Raff, Unlike most of my friends, I really do think the world is coming to an end this December. What’s the one thing I have to do before we all die?
The world isn’t going to end, but if it does then everyone will go to heaven becuz this world low key sucks so NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXTTTTTTTTTT!!! Give me a planet where no one can be hurt, sick or injured, and no one is in pain ever, and every answer to life is revealed. But this world is crazy. There are waterfalls and tornados and UFOs and there used to be damn dinosaurs. Dinosaurs? Really? That’s not a myth. There used to be fuckin’ 10 ton monsters that stomped around the fuckin’ world and destroyed shit. How am I supposed to understand what is possible or rational in a world where dinosaurs used to be? WHAT?!
Dear Riff Raff, My friend and I recently had a debate about who the best rapper of all time is. I say Eminem, he says Biggie. Please settle this for us.
“THE BEST” is a mythical statement. To simply say that one person is The Greatest is all based on opinion and perception. Each artist gives of a different vibe of music, touches on different chords or walks of life, and that’s the beauty of music, becuz either you have your own lane and you mastered that, or you didn’t. Some will say that Eminem is the greatest wordsmith of all time. I feel different moods when I listen to Eminem than when I listen to Biggie. I might feel a whole other feeling or might wanna roll around and eat pistachios and play fooseball, cuz the song makes me feel that way. It’s impossible to pin point in my mind who is greatest, becuz you would have to narrow it down to a specific category to then derive a solid debatable “Personal Opinion” of what and why you feel a certain artist is your favorite. But in the end, don’t argue or don’t get into a fight over music, becuz it’s all for fun. Don’t always compare things or people. They are both legendary.
Dear Riff Raff, I’m on a hunt for the best sandwich in America. Where do I find it?
Potbelly sandwiches comes to mind. Get the large white bun, add 4 pieces of provolone cheese. They toast it, and the bread will now be crunchy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside, like a Kelly Kapowski, except she is soft on the outside. Ok wait, that’s a bad example. Back to the sandwich. Get the chicken salad with extra mayo on it, add lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. Also get a shitload of hot peppers on there and tell them to drain the peppers. You don’t want the extra buttery salty oils to drip thru the marination policy. Then top it off with a fist-full of dried, sweet cranberries. It seems weird at first, but after you take one bite, you will be amazed as to why no one ever told you about this secret caveman sandwich. Get two bags of salt and vinegar chips and a cherry coke with a lemon slice in it, and they have homemade brownie cookies. Stop being a little bitch and enjoy the fuckin’ brownie cookie! Then run home and have sex and think about the sandwich.
Dear Riff Raff, I’m an aspiring rapper. Are there any rules when choosing ones MC name?
That’s the best part. There are no rules to life, only the rules that you place upon yourself, becuz society has sculpted your mind to feel as if there is normal ways and unnormal ways. The innovative will succeed, and the acceptance-seekers will fall victim to basicizms. By the way, there used to be dinosaurs on this earth. Do you think they gave a fuck what your name is? No. They want to eat your life, so don’t worry about the small shit. Just worry about the dumb shit.
Dear Riff Raff, I don’t care about anything or anyone. Am I a psychopath?
No, if your mind and experiences have forced you into that mind state, then there is no one to blame, not even yourself. Me personally, I care for everyone, but I’m not going to go out of my way or put my feelings in jeopardy to do something for someone. I want everyone to succeed and be successful, but at the same time, if I can’t have exactly what I want when I want it, then I don’t give a fuck about anything in my way. I get into a selfish zone, but that’s all you have at the end of the day—you and your feelings. So don’t hurt anyone, but be kind when you can. It’s not your fault if you don’t have feelings. But feelings and emotions mean you’re alive. But they can also stress you out to lose sleep or be irrational, such as a love feeling or an angry feeling. Whatever the case is, think to yourself, what do you love, and try to be a good person. All you can do is be you.
Photography by Chelsey Croucher