As he begins to gear up for his Mad Decent debut Neon Icon this January, rapper Riff Raff will release a series of non-album tracks over the course of the next several months. “I plan on dropping ten more songs and videos before [Neon Icon],” he tells Rolling Stone. He started earlier this week with a new song called called “Real Boyz,” a low-slung, brooding number produced by Grammy-winning producer Boi-1da (Kanye West, Nicki Minaj) that features guest vocals from OJ Da Juiceman and 2 Chainz affiliate Cap 1.
Speaking on the genesis of “Real Boyz,” Riff Raff credits his burgeoning friendship with Drake as the catalyst for the track. “Drake said I got this new producer that I think y’all could make hit songs,” he says of his introduction to Boi-1da. “It’s an audio treasure for women and children of all ages to listen to and enjoy at the breakfast table for motivation in the home as well as the work place. It will be cherished for ages.” In characteristically obtuse Riff Raff fashion, he adds that the cameos from OJ and Cap 1 are “the pepperoni and swiss cheese crust on this Versace pizza we just made.”
Having grown up in Houston, Texas, Riff Raff’s profile bloomed when he capitalized on a series of popular Internet music videos and his signing with Diplo’s Mad Decent imprint in 2012. That year also saw him lining up side projects with the producers Harry Fraud and Dame Grease, plus the New York City rapper Action Bronson, as well as taking place as one-third of the comedy rap troupe Three Loco with Andy Milonakis and Dirt Nasty. Earlier this year, Riff Raff claimed that the character of Alien in the Harmony Korine film Spring Breakers, as played by James Franco, was based on the rapper’s distinctive look. (Riff Raff declined to comment on rumors that a law suit against Franco and the movie is currently in progress.)
Recently, Riff Raff tweeted footage of himself backstage with Drake and Justin Bieber and added the caption “New icons.” Asked whether this is a hint that the two artists will feature on his Neon Icon album, Riff Raff says cryptically, “An album or a song doesn’t make an icon. Our icon status was each paved on a different road that lead up us where we all three are today which is a continuous club to the top of our own victory. You can’t pay for those moments — they are historic treasures that are accidentally captured on camera.”
Despite Riff Raff’s coy answer, rumors still persist that Drake will be on Neon Icon, along with A$AP Rocky and Mac Miller. While he wouldn’t confirm a collaboration with the Canadian superstar, he did reveal that Wiz Khalifa has officially signed-off on a Neon Icon song titled “Versace Python.”
Neon Icon is due out January 28th.