Once upon a time, I was introduced to a guy named Riff Raff. He was on the other side of the TV screen, flossing his Monopoly Reeboks and multicoloured weave-cornrows on the too-short-lived MTV reality show From Gs To Gents.

I think he was eliminated in like, the third episode? But seeing him on that show felt like watching the world’s best publicity stunt. Way back then, all I could find of him online was a Myspace profile and some YouTube videos of him driving around, rapping. There was one other video where he’s holding out a gun while massaging a girl’s booty and talking into the camera (since been removed). I became so hooked on this crazy dude. Is he for real? Is this a real person? Is he on crack? Probably more likely a mix of blow, booze, MDMA, vicodin and all that Houston flavours but who’s counting?

During this early-Riff-Raff era, I came across a photo on his Myspace of a promo flyer that had a phone number on it and one night, drunk on booze and our love for Riff Raff, me and my friends called this number at 4am. First time the call went to voicemail, which was a blurry freestyle from what sounded like the man himself. We left a several-minutes-long rap we wrote ourselves for him. The next day we called him again and someone answered (!!!). I was pretty caught off guard, and started having a conversation with who I guess was his manager. We said we were big fans and asked what it would take to get Riff Raff to come to Toronto for a show. The guy said $5,000 plus hotel and private limo. Probably between all of us at the time, we had, max, $400. Brief considerations of a greezy fundraiser Bake Sale took place (think weed brownies, etc) but in the end nothing else came of this, other than consistent Internet stalking – he’s friends with Andy Milonakis for effs sakes!

Fast-forward to five years later. My jaw practically hit my own boobs when I saw an event posted on Facebook entitled: Free Bricks 001: RiFF RAFF. The amazing people at Free Bricks, Union Events, Vice Mag, Wrongbar and Patrick McGuire were daring to dream where no one had dreamed before, and managed to take my 21-year old drunken fantasy and make it a reality. Riff Raff would be coming to Toronto for his first Canadian show. CRAY-CRAY! All the way From Gs to Gents and now in the T.dot, sh*t is about to get real.

As the date approached, I found it became so surreal that this was even happening. Sometimes people are so bizarre and their ‘media personae’ feels exactly like that, it’s weird to even imagine them being a real person who sleeps and uses soap and brushes his teeth like the rest of us. Before this I didn’t even think of him as real; more an abstract concept and lesson in being messed up and incredibly amazing at the same time. Now I can recollect standing side stage sweating before he’s even come out, with the rowdy crowd of mostly guys getting rowdier, screaming cuz they cant wait any longer. Turns out I’m not his only fan.

So what was Riff Raff aka Jody Highroller aka Party McHardy aka Kokayne Dawkinz aka Tha Freestyle Scientist aka Horst Simcoe aka my soulmate like on stage? Very sweaty, in short, pretty amazing. And my iPhone has proof. He did his hit tracks and even slowed it down for us, which was so sensual. All the favourites were rapped to us while a jewel-encrusted slushee cup sloshed around his neck. He was definitely committed to putting on a great show. I even saw some blood in the crowd from concert goers, who were asked by security guards if they were OK, to which they responded “yes”. Nothing would tear people away from getting a glimpse. I was curious what Riff Raff fans would be like, and turns out most had an air to them similar to the guy they were all crammed in to see. Lots of tattooed hot dudes who could’ve just come from a probation hearing or the craziest party or out of a Bentley and are probably wickedly charismatic and lots of fun. Lots of potential ex-boyfriends – I know that type all too well. Trying to just admire my infatuation for colourful bad boys from behind a screen, or beside a stage.

I sense impending World Domination any day now, considering Raff Reesy was just signed to Diplo’s record label Mad Decent, AND…James Franco is playing him in upcoming movie “Spring Breakers” set for release in 2013. He’s just that amazing. LONG LiVE RiFF RAFF! And you saw it here first, mo fos!


Photos by Becca Lemire (Click to Enlarge)