The “Biggest Muscle DJ” came on stage and got the crowd hyped up, and then the horns blared.
It felt like I was watching an episode of “Jersey Shore.”
“How to be the man” rang out in the Cox Capitol Theater and the Peach Panther stormed the stage, singing along to his hit.
The crowd went crazy as Riff Raff appeared unannounced and rapped above the noise.
April 1 was April Fools Day and many thought Riff Raff’s performance in Macon was an elaborate joke — yet there he was, rocking the crowd.
After the first song, he introduced himself along with his DJ and gave a quick plug to the brand new t-shirts on sale in the back. Riff Raff is clearly the master of the plug — he did everything he could to convince the crowd to buy a t-shirt.
Then he walked over, picked up his giant bottle of Ciroc and downed it before giving Monster Energy a shout out.
The night felt more like a commercial than a concert. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate Riff Raff as an artist, but I think the audience has to realize that he is not there to be great rapper. He is there to sell his brand and put on a great show, and I must say he has done well for himself.
Riff Raff continued the concert with more of his own hits such as “Dolce and Gabbana” and new, unreleased singles such as a project he did with rapper 2 Chainz.
I must say that the crowd really got into his better-known songs. I even found myself singing along to “Dolce and Gabbana” and “How to be the Man.”
When it was a song that no one knew, most audience members whipped out their phones and took selfies with Riff Raff in the background. On one of his new songs, he launched money into the air and sent the crowd into a dollar-grubbing frenzy.
Some of the more exciting moments actually occurred when he covered other people’s songs. Popular hits such as “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap and “Love Sosa” by Chief Keef were well-received by the crowd.
Finally, Riff Raff ended with his most well-known song, “Tip Toe Wing in My Jawwdinz.” This song got everyone in the crowd going. No one was “sleeping on him, snoring.”
However, the most pleasant surprise of the night came before Riff Raff ever hit the stage. The opening act, the Fresh Valley Kings, came out as a mostly unknown act. For an entire hour, the group showed that they have staying power in the Macon music scene.
The three piece group is made up of Mercer alumni Midas Wright (Grey Newell) and Wulfman (Ryan Walters) and Mercer student Jak Sun (Jackson Dillard). They had never played in a venue as large as the Cox before, Jak Sun said. They have only done local shows at Fresh Produce Records, The Mill and The Hummingbird.
“Me being from Macon, playing at the Cox is huge. That’s where pretty much all the bigger names acts go,” Jak Sun said. “Opening up for Riff Raff was just surreal. Getting to see him backstage getting in a zone, it’s honestly kind of inspiring. He is out there living the dream, getting lit.”
Much like Riff Raff, you can’t take their lyrics too seriously. Their music has a lot of “let’s say the most ridiculous thing possible,” like in their crowd pleaser “Wrists Up, Fists Up.” Yet the flow and content (aside from the vulgar language) is impressively delivered. In terms of talent, they may have been the best act on the stage.
Fresh Valley Kings had fans chanting their lyrics for about 10 minutes after they left the stage, a testament to how well they were received. They used catchy hooks and crafty wordplay, which at times made it feel like you were listening to a more seasoned group of individuals.
“Our music is all about energy and feeling the crowd connecting and vibing to our songs like never before was a hallmark moment.” Midas Wright said. “We fed off of it. That was our best performance holistically as a group, and we were honored to open for an artist as notable as Riff Raff.”
Both the Fresh Valley Kings and Riff Raff line up in the same type of rap, which made the show a lot of fun from start to finish. While I’ve never seen anything like it before (and may never see anything like it again) I actually enjoyed the experience.
Overall, I would not go to see Riff Raff if I wanted to see a serious concert rapper. I would go see him for the experience and his stage presence. It was unbelievable how well he played to the crowd.
The Neon Icon didn’t disappoint . . . if you went in understanding what you were getting yourself into.