In all honesty, I had always heard of RiFF RAFF, but never really heard his music before... asides some of Lil Debbie's songs in which he is featured in. He's also someone that I never knew was meant to be taken seriously, or just turn your brain off and listen to his music. With two studio albums and a plethora of mixtapes under his belt, RiFF RAFF's nineteenth mixtape titled Aquaberry Aquarius actually managed to blow away my expectations of both his music, and my perception of him as an artist.
Although I was expecting a standard trap album, there's much more than meets the eye on Aquaberry Aquarius. With a short runtime of 29 minutes and 9 tracks,slick and sometimes nasty production from DJ Afterthought, and a wide variety of guest spots ranging from Wiz Khalifa to Fat Nick and Germ to Bones, this is actually quite different from recent hip-hop offerings from 2017 so far. The first song on the mixtape, "Hit Me Up", sounds more like a reggae inspired tune with rapping over it, with excellent guest vocals from Lisa Cimorelli. After that, the songs dramatically change into the signature RiFF RAFF sound that his fans have grown to love. "Test Drive" is actually a straight up banger with a guest spot from Wiz Khalifa, that could be added to anyone who needs last minute additions for their party playlist (or when lighting one up). "Root Beer Float Ghost" and "Last Time I Checked" (which has a killer verse courtesy of Bones on it) are also straight fire, with spooky synthy sounding insturmentals and electronic beats that had me bobbing my head while listening to. What really threw me off was "I'm Not Waiting For the Summer", a song that confused the shit out of me do to it straight up sounding like a Sublime or Dirty Heads song, and actually seems to be an emotional song about his parents worrying about his life choices.
Although there are some duds on the mixtape ("My Ice", "Roll Around Town"), Aquaberry Aquarius managed to throw my expectations under the bus, and made me realize that RiFF RAFF actually might not just be an internet sensation after all. I won't say it's the best thing ever, but check it out if you want your expectations to be blown out of the water, or simply want to listen to some bangers.