RiFF RaFF, with Dorrough and Mike Jones: What the Hell Just Happened in Arlington?
Neon-laced Texan trill was the theme of the night at Cowboys Dancehall in Arlington, where RiFF RaFF served as ringleader for a live set featuring Texas hip-hop legends, glow-in-the-dark twerking ballerinas and hundreds of entranced pre-spring breakers. It just might have been the greatest show on Earth, and it happened to double as a tribute to Texas hip-hop's new wave.
Considering the endless amount of space within the Texas-sized venue, the fog-filled floor became a three-ring circus with spontaneous dubstep battles, real-life dancing pandas, synchronized laser shows, and lots and lots of sweat flinging.
After a few streaming hours of the Trapzillas mixing EDM, hip-hop and surprisingly, Dominican bachata, "Riff Raff was in the motha fuckin' house!" The Houston native hit the stage over an hour after his expected performance time, but who really expects him to follow the laws of time? He's known for being the larger-than-life character who lives the life of a modern day hip-hop Zack Morris. He's been referred to as polarizing, bipolar, Vanilla Ice the sequel and as a calculated intellectual. But when he brought his neon party to the stage, Texas pride took the spotlight.
The show launched with an introduction by Swishahouse Records co-founder and DJ for the night, OG Ron C. This first appearance was an indicator that this would not be the show that the crowd of lightsaber-wielding ravers was expecting.
As soon as his introduction wrapped up, Riff Raff flew from backstage, waving a white towel like a helicopter as he debuted new tracks from his soon-to-be-released album, Neon Icon. His high-pitched, new-wave flow pierced through usually overpowering bass and trap claps as the crowd screamed nonstop for about two songs straight. Visually, the rapper played the part of his eccentric personality, wearing a neon pizza tank and zebra print Versace pants.
"Turn them damn bright lights off and turn them black lights on," Raff demanded in a thick Texas drawl. "If you from Texas like me, best believe we gon' glow in this bitch tonight."
Standing center stage with his "Hook 'em Horns" held high above two neon ballerinas having an onstage dance battle, he took a moment of unexpected calm to reminisce on his days as a seventh grader bumping Swishahouse music.
Following the brief trip down Raff's slowed and throwed origins, he shocked the crowd by bringing out Dallas' own chart topper, Dorrough, to join in on the Texas pride. Performing quick snippets of previous hits and premiering a new track featuring Wiz Khalifa, Dorrough's slowed-down lyrical delivery kept up just fine with the lively crowd. Before leaving the stage, he wished everybody a good night and shook hands with the eccentric colleague who brought him out on stage.
"I know y'all wasn't expecting me to be coming through Texas and not have surprises," Raff joked from the higher level of the stage. "You know I always say back then they didn't' want me."