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ALBUM: Riff Raff & Yelawolf – TURQUOiSE TORNADO

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The Context – Within the past few weeks, “White Boy Summer” (WBS) is trending thanks to the controversial, yet ultimately lovable character of Chet Hanks. The son of actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson took to social media in March and declared summer 2021 for white boys (and black queens)—excluding those donning Vineyard Vines, Sperry Topsiders, Ralph Lauren, plaid, and/or salmon-colored apparel as well as those advocating for white supremacy.

Although the patois speaking Chet Hanks directly mentions English DJ John B and rapper Jack Harlow as ideal embodiments of WBS, charismatic and eccentric rappers Riff Raff and Yelawolf may have started the proverbial pregame to the anti-frat boy White Boy Summer with their recent collaboration on TURQUOiSE TORNADO. Riff Raff is a Houston-based MC marrying the whimsicality and crude humor of early Eminem with the aggression of the Texan rap style formulated by the likes of Devin the Dude and Paul Wall. Balancing the flashy hair and jewelry of Riff Raff (a.k.a. JODY HiGHROLLER) is the more serious, yet culturally poignant and fellow Southern Gen-X/Millennial in-betweener, Yelawolf.

The Content – The Riff Raff and Yelawolf collaboration begins on a high-note with the self-proclaimed “ghetto cowboy” Yelawolf delivering clever, aggressive bars over an engaging trance-like trap beat on “MOSSY OAK.” The white rappers follow-up with a rather weak chorus on “HUMAN LAMBORGHiNi” that individual verses from Riff Raff, Yelawolf, and boxer Danny “Swift” Garcia help salvage the track. Galveston, Texas rapper Peso Peso delivers some lyrical heat to open “MONCLER JACKET” while Riff Raff’s yell-rapping is a hilarious juxtaposition to Yelawolf’s fast-rap closer.

“ALCOHOL & WEED” suffers from its uninspired chorus and verses from the duo and country-rapper Struggle Jennings. Riff Raff and Yelawolf rebound on the concise and pointed “TURQUOiSE TORNADO FREESTYLE featuring bars from the aforementioned Paul Wall. The rudimentary trap production throughout the record transitions into the most memorable syn-heavy/80s-esque track on “TiP TOE 4” The October 2020 single that started the partnership, “MiLLiON DOLLAR MULLET,” closes the record with a sharp, Ronny J-produced rapped ode to Riff Raff’s immaculate hairstyle.

The Skinny – On paper, the combination of Riff Raff’s rap antics and Yelawolf’s calculated lyricism and spitting is a complimentary match. In actuality, the collaboration on TURQUOiSE TORNADO does not accentuate the skills of either Southern artist. Glimpses of heavy-hitting humor and emotional are felt on “MOSSY OAK,” “MONCLER JACKET,” and TURQUOiSE TORNADO FREESTYLE” but the forces are primarily absent in the record’s totality. Apart from “TiP TOE 4,” the record is also rife with minimalist and repetitive trap beats allowing for little differentiation in sound. TURQUOiSE TORNADO gives an alternative view of White Boy Summer but the Riff Raff and Yelawolf collab seemingly puts a lackluster dent in Chet Hank’s grand vision.

The Rating – 5.1/10

1. MOSSY OAK (feat. DJ Paul)

2. HUMAN LAMBORGHiNi (feat. Danny Swift Garcia)

3. MONCLER JACKET (feat. Peso Peso)

4. ALCOHOL & WEED (feat. Struggle Jennings)

5. TURQUOiSE TORNADO FREESTYLE (feat. Paul Wall)

6. TiP TOE 4

7. MiLLiON DOLLAR MULLET (feat. Ronny J)

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