On Thursday, Riff Raff debuted his new show on Complex TV, called “The Riff Raff Realm.” We were so intrigued — at one point, Riff can be seen sniffing shoes on camera — that we got him on the phone to discuss his new show, his upcoming album, and why America might be seeing him on their TVs soon.
EW: Hey, Riff — how’s it going?
Riff Raff: [from his car, in Arizona] Hey, what’s up man. I might go to Taco Bell, get a chalupa or something. What’s up?
Tell us about your new show, “Riff Raff Realm.” How’d it come about?
Oh, the show. This was — we were rushed, so it’s not everything how my talk show on TV would be. It’s very rough. But it’s cool, I like it. All the moms across America have approved it. And it’ll be on right after Ellen on the mornings soon.
Like on TV? How many episodes do you have planned?
There’s, like, eight — eight of them. We’re still shooting them. So this is what happened — I’m going to give you some inside information. We started shooting these things, and once we saw the edit of it, more and more people were like, “Is this on TV or just on the Internet?” Like, once we started doing it, we saw how crazy good the show was, which I knew it would be all along. So we were like, “This should be on TV.” So that’s what it is now — we’re going to fully push it for TV, like my own talk show. It’s crazy — the Riff Raff talk show on national TV? You’re seeing the beginning stages of something else. It snowballs fast. We’re going full production, with like cameras everywhere. I’m basically young David Letterman. Rap game Jay Leno. Actually, I’m rap game Oprah. Slash Ellen. Actually, let’s say I’m gonna be rap game Ellen.
[Riff pulls up to a Del Taco drive-thru and orders a taco – chicken, with no cheese]
So, where was I?
Well, you were saying that you’ve been having talks with networks? Which ones?
Well that’s all in what’s getting sorted out, because things move so fast. All this information and things we’re doing… I mean, I can’t discuss those things. I can’t give away that, because it’s still in negotiations. It’s like a bidding situation. [According to Riff's Twitter, his talk show will be on TV starting June 2014.]
Right now, from bird’s eye view just watching the first episode, people don’t know how big this is going to be. It’s like if somebody gave you a mini piece of the best sushi in the world. Like cutting one piece of sushi into four pieces – you could eat the piece and be like, “Damn, I want to go to this restaurant. They know how to make sushi.” And then you go down there and get the miso soup and the sake or whatever it is, the whole thing, and that’s the real show – that’s what makes it a good sushi bar.
[Riff pulls up to the next drive-thru window, pays for his taco with a $100 bill]
So, anyway, in the midst of all my other stuff, I’ve got this album coming out [his studio debut Neon Icon is due out in January]. Then out of left field, boom, talk-show Riff Raff. Then a full-on talk show on TV, then the music really becomes secondary. But because that’s what I’ve wanted forever, my own talk show, you know? But me, I do it all. The talk show is that, you know. Then I’ll maximize my time. I’ll do it all.
Wait a second — I told this b—h no cheese [on his taco]. So what’d they do? That’s crazy. I specifically said no cheese. It’s on f—ing tape! When you order one taco, with one specific instruction, you expect them not to f— up. I guess that’s why Taco Bell’s more famous. But I guess I can’t hold this over Del Taco’s head.
So tell me about the album.
So I’m going to be pushing this song, “How to Be the Man.” That’s going to be my first official single that’s pushed on the radio worldwide. So this’ll be interesting. It doesn’t define me or nothing like that, but it’s a very impactful song. It’s my first song where I’m talking about my past and who I am and what I’m about. And then it’s like, I’m not playing games. It’s not a joke.
But you have to remember, I have 100 songs that aren’t even released, so this doesn’t make or break me. But this is my debut album. I’ve never dropped an album before. I’ve never had a song mixed and mastered. So with this project, I took my time on it. This song is impactful to me because it’s talking me, why I am who I am, which direction I’m going. How to be a man, how to be a boss, how to buy a car, how to buy a house: That’s all real-life s—. So that’s what that song’s about. I think people will be talking about it in the history books.
So there have been a lot of rumored guests. Who can you confirm will be on the album?
Wiz Khalfia, Mac Miller, and Action Bronson. That’s all I can say right now.
Would you say this album shows a more mature side of Riff Raff?
F— no. What it’s going to do — this album is an introduction to me. There’s rock songs on this, country songs – but it’s not me trying to make a country song or a rock song. It’s the fact that I loved that beat, and that’s what I’m doing on those songs. Where I feel like a lot of artists try to cater to a certain group and a certain niche, where I do it the other away. I do what I feel. It’s going to be the best album of the year when it’s out. Now I know it’s going to be January the 28th of 2014 when it comes out, but I can guarantee my album will be the best album of the year.
You can check out his talk show, “Riff Raff Realm,” over on Complex.