Audio Mixer: Jimmy Cash.
Photographer: Brian Ziff.
So much had changed since the ketamine freak show rapper known as RiFF RAFF made his official debut in 2014. There was the whole Spring Breakers controversy, where the film's actor James Franco was called out by RiFF for stealing his schtick and swag. Then rappers like Wiz Khalifa, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Lil Dicky, and Future crammed the charts with weirdness, while Desiigner's mega-strange mega-hit "Panda" had a reach up to and including Grandma. What's a proud codeine casualty supposed to do? Maybe change the scenery and change your name as the highlight "Carlos Slim" introduces RiFF RAFF's new alias ("I might move to Mexico, Carlos Slim"), but upping the game is another option, as the same cut puts up "Versace is my hobby/I done shot more jumpers than that Bill Cosby (Swish!)." Later, there's "Relaxin' codeine castle eating filet mignon/It's Eleanor Roosevelt in a golden cell" on the traptastic "4 Million," and "Only in America" proves RiFF is a true Texas tornado with "If I have kids they goin' straight home-schooled/Codeine water fountains sippin' lean by the pool/Children growin' up to be professional Snapchatters/Even substitute teachers these days be battle rappers." Only Danny Brown's "Diamonds in my mouth/I can't keep quiet" ("I Drive By") comes close, and RiFF's "Drop my top on a Porsche/In high school I used to play sports" ("Mercedez") is the kind of cool clumsy fans eat up like fluffernutter, especially when it comes packaged with a G-Eazy guest shot and a radio-worthy Metro Boomin beat. Gucci and Wiz regulars 808 Mafia produce a handful of cuts while veteran flashmaster Scott Storch is a perfect choice for "Chris Paul," a song where "I can hit the mall and ball like Chris Paul" is the hook. The only problem with Peach Panther is that the previous album, Neon Icon, was both a shade better and came with that new-car smell, but returning fans hungry for more of that infectious strange will rightfully rejoice that their RiFF RAFF is still their RiFF RAFF (aka Jody Highroller aka Versace Python aka Carlos Slim). ~ David Jeffries