With his array of gaudy tattoos, bling, and the accentuated visuals of his videos, Houston rapper Riff Raff might remind you of the colorful fruit-flavored sodas, quarter waters, and cheap candy so characteristic of childhood in the Southern hoods of the U.S., where young people grow up in a world in which striking blends of high fructose corn syrup and food coloring often end up discarded onto hot asphalt, spilling over into gasoline rainbows or hardening under heavy sunlight into piles of neon goo. And so, when Riff Raff names his forthcoming album Neon Icon, is it because he is trying to literally embody the colorful world of the Houston hoods that he purports to come from, with their candy paint jobs and dye-colored candies? Or is it because as a white rapper, he has learned to use color itself as a means of distracting from his “lack” of color? Either way, his show will be quite colorful. And who could ask for more?
Fri., Oct. 18, 7 p.m., 2013