RiFF RAFF Finally Gets Serious About Being Misunderstood: “I Use That As Fuel; Nobody Will Stop Me”

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First of all, explain the name of the album.
It’s like a whole new world that’s just all me. From going from nothing to becoming this shining star…so I mean, yeah, Neon Icon is just neon everything. It can’t be stopped.

What can we expect from the Neon Icon?
A lot of everything—it’s not just a rap album. It’ll be my first major album—my first worldwide actual album in stores since my freshman album, my rookie year, so we’re gonna take time to make sure it’s done proper. [I'm] not nervous. Excited. Got a lot of big features on there, a lot of big songs. When these songs drop, it’s all good stuff, it’s my best work. I’ve got like 80 songs but we’re gonna, like, weave it down…pick the best ones. I got so many features, man. I’ll just say, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Action Bronson. I’ll just give you those ones, there’s so many of ‘em, man.

People think it’s gonna be all pretty much just hip-hop music, trap music, whatever. I’m gonna have some country songs on there, some rock songs and everything like that. And I’m fading more towards that way, so it’s gonna put people in a position where they can’t even compare me to nobody. Right now, what I see a lot of—not that I care, not that it matters, it’s not gonna stop me—but what I see is a lot of people trying to compare me to this or that, like, “Oh you’re a joke,” or you’re this or that, just because they can’t compare me to nobody. Like, for example…somebody says like a Weird Al Yankovic where he remakes songs and it’s fun, that’s cool. Weird Al Yankovic is great, I grew up watching his movies. But it’s not me. None of my stuff is joking. When people see all these different songs I have, it’s removing all that hatred and doubt. It’s just the facts are there. The truth and the facts, you can’t hide that. You can try and deny it or try to ignore it. That’s ignorance. It’s just showing the higher level of how much my music has improved. This album is gonna really separate me from a lot of critics who think that I’m such and such or whatever, and all my albums are gonna constantly upgrade like that—my Neon music. I’ma have a band, and dancers and lights going off, that’s not the average hip-hop person. A lot of songs, coming after Neon Icon, is going to be me singing.

Do you plan to take the hip-hop world by storm?
Not even hip-hop world. I do music, so whatever gravitates to me, whatever people wanna take from it and put me in so and so category, put me in whatever, I can’t stop that. So like I said, with this album, it’s gonna really separate me from someone saying, quote, unquote, “hip-hop.” So when you do that, you become more of an artist because you can make all these types of music, you can write. I have a book coming out, movies, TV Shows, so when you start separating like that, now you’re more of an icon, as opposed to a hip-hop artist. So that’s what I’m, this album is the stamp of Neon Icon. That’s what I am, I’m the Neon icon. I’m Jody Highroller. And this icon is bigger than all this. Like a “hip-hop rapper,” if you’re an artist who can make songs or whatever, then you have movie stars, then you have icons. When you start doing icons that’s like a whole other level—where you just say somebody’s name and it’s just like, “Icon.” Like Snoop Dogg, for instance, is an icon. Britney Spears, Madonna…just say a name, it has a certain weight to it. Justin Bieber, see what I mean?

I was on Instagram and saw a picture of you, Drake, and Justin Bieber…was that any indication of something to come?
I’d have to let them tell you. But we’re basically best friends, so anything’s possible.

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