Riff Raff at Prophet Bar, 11/30: Review
The Prophet Bar was packed this Saturday for one of hip-hop's most perplexing and fascinating characters, Riff Raff. With his over-the-top personality falling somewhere between flamboyant carwash pimp and Jay sans Silent Bob, it's hard not to ask ourselves if we're actually supposed to be taking this seriously. The man's got Versace box braids, cable music channel logo tattoos and is a social media staple because of his rambling and surrealist sense of humor. However, as ridiculous as his antics may be, he's done a hell of a job branding his vision. Even though he was born and bred in Houston, Riff Raff doesn't play Dallas very often at all. Fans young and very young swarmed the stage in anticipation.
A seemingly never-ending string of local support was emceed by Cool Beings founder and local rap promoter Jesse Porter. Few people in this city can work this kind of crowd so skillfully. He illustrated this perfectly when a small fight broke out in the generally tame crowd, and he was able to break it up without even stepping off stage. Porter called out the offending parties, reassuring the crowd that everyone was there to have a good time, and just like that, order was restored without so much as a security guard. VA Tha Gray's opening set showcased strong material, but wasn't quite enough to hold the audience's attention in anticipation for the main event. Mga Czar and his signature dance moves' guest appearance, however, made the crowd go wild.
While stage hanging is generally pretty douchey, it took place heavily at this show, with good reason. Those lucky enough to squeeze past a speaker and line the back and sides of the stage had the best view in the house of both the crowd and the stage, without having to pack into a tight swarm of sweaty teenagers. That is until all the sweaty teenagers ended up on stage. It was clear to see the youth of America's respect for performance is beginning to fall by the wayside. Some security probably would've come in handy when girls began to flop and crawl onstage in the middle of the headlining set to stand up there and take selfies for the duration of it.
A slew of surprise guests appeared throughout Riff Raff's set, starting with Deion Sanders Jr., who bobbed his head and threw his hands during the single "Deion Sandals." Treal Lee and Prince Rick graced the stage with their radio hit, "Throwed Off." Yung Nation caused near pandemonium, as they usually do with such a young crowd. The real highlight of the night, however, came when Big Tuck emerged from backstage and brought the house down with "Southside Da Realest," a Dallas rap anthem.
Overall, Riff Raff was lively, engaged the crowd and was entertaining to watch. Yet the performance itself fell short of the spectacle you'd expect from such an enigmatic figure. Blame it on the hype surrounding such a rare booking or an all too short set that couldn't have lasted more than 45 minutes, but it just wasn't as wild as one would have expected. Still though, we got to hear fan favorites like "Dolce and Gabbana," as well as new material from the forthcoming Neon Icon album due out early next year. Is it worth seeing the man, the myth and the legend in the flesh for yourself? Sure. But the live show is not quite the extravaganza that Riff Raff is himself.
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