So, yes, I am going to draft a response to this before I write up Dynamic Duo. Whatchagonnadoboutit?
You’re half right. Half there, rather. You’re spot on when you say that it’s all his story. You connection between marijuana and brussels sprouts is great. The buds. The lack of stems. Spot on. When you say that none of it feels conscious, well, this here, you could be on to something.
I decided to check out ole’ RapGenius to see what those chumps had to say about it. The FAScinating thing about what RG proposes and you barely missed was freestyling. On the website it says, as a meaning for the hook: “Riff Raff references his ability to freestyle without end — a trademark of Southern (Texas) Hip Hop artists including but no limited to Lil Flip and Z-Ro.” Now I believe I’ve sent you a RiFF RAFF freestyle before, you remember, the 101 bars one in Amsterdam where he breaks his chain at the end. Plot twist: I however, don’t think this is what RiFF is getting at. I don’t think it’s all about freestyling.
Irony. That was what I was thinking about when it comes to “I Can Tell Stories”. Does the Versace Cowboy actually tell any stories in this track? Nah. Not one. Stories have beginnings, middles and ends. Thanks screenwriting class. RiFF RAFF is merely starting facts. “I can NBC, like that girl Connie” (Chung), is there a story here? Nope. Just him again, in other words, saying that he can tell stories. “Used to have a girl who worked at Taco Bell”. This, in my opinion of course, is the closest thing to a story in the whole track. He doesn’t tell us anything about her though. This is like me saying, I have a friend from Dallas. Is that a story? No. He uses a lot of past tense verbs in this track. He “could” he “might”. All of these indicate possibility. Has he done this stuff? Well I’m about 98% sure he didn’t actually write this flow on the back of the Mona Lisa. It’s all ironic. He can tell stories, he could tell stories, but he doesn’t tell stories.
You wrote something that I really love, you said, “telling his geniune story to an audience that is willing to listen to him speak.” Willing to listen. I’d say the most controvertial thing about RiFF RAFF is that people constantly question his genuineness. Is he really this iced out, wannabe black, wigger rapper? How much of RiFF RAFF is genuine? We don’t question Pusha when he says he used to sell coke. We don’t question Danny Brown we he tells us all the drugs he’s done. We don’t question Freddie Gibbs when he tells us about murderin’ mutherfuckas. Why? Because we believe they’re genuine. This could be a race thing, being that, as Bronsolino brought up, it is a black man’s sport. Society automatically accepts that when black rappers tell these stories they are probably true or at least based on reality. RiFF RAFF takes this belief to the absurd. “Fifty grand below, poppin’ pills in the North Pole”, did he actually do that? No. “I done graduated from Versace Junior College”. Did he do that? No. Though I would enroll if I could. This applies to the Mona Lisa line as well. It’s all absurd. RiFF RAFF is absurd.
But there’s one more level that makes this a little harder to get around, and that is: RiFF RAFF is genuine as fuck. He is real. This is not just some character he is playing–this is him. Irony. RiFF RAFF is being absurd, spitting this completely absurd lyrics, wearing absurd amounts of ice while talking and acting absurd WHILE being completely genuine. “I Can Tell Stories” is all irony. He doesn’t actually tell any stories, despite saying he has too much to tell. He’s being absurd while being completely genuine. He is making us question everything that is RiFF RAFF, despite telling us straight up, no foolin’, who he really is.