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On the Record With Riff Raff

"Gotta keep my game sharp for these lames tryna come at the throne."

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This week, rapper Riff Raff performs at Altar Bar. It will be his second trip to Pittsburgh in three weeks — he appeared with Warped Tour earlier this month. As Warped Tour snakes its way across the country, Riff is promoting his follow-up to 2014's Neon Icon, Peach Panther, slotted for a fall release. He took some time to answer a few questions via email about touring, balling and his Pittsburgh-based DJ Ryan Haynes, a.k.a. DJ Afterthought.

I assume you've been performing songs off Peach Panther. How have the crowds responded?

We've played a couple tracks from it, including "Chris Paul" and "Dpaz Out," featuring Travis Barker, and the crowd has loved it.

You've been joined by other musicians on stage. Is your Warped Tour set a spontaneous thing that happens, or is it more planned out?

Every day is spontaneous and wild stuff happens every day here at Warped Tour. We had Versace dragons do some fly-bys and the Gucci moon people tattooed golden Versace flagpoles on people's faces.

You probably have the most unique fashion sense in hip hop — how did that develop?

It's just a natural Versace talent. When you are an icon, it just happens naturally.

You've been on the road a lot lately. What's the best and worst thing about continuous touring?

Performing in front of huge crowds is the best. Not being with my dogs is the worst.

Word is you're pretty good at basketball. Have you been balling at all on tour?

I am always hooping. Gotta keep my game sharp for these lames tryna come at the throne.

LeBron or Jordan?

Jordan.

Could you school any NBA players in a game of one-on-one?

I'm too big to play any NBA players. That would just be free promo for them.

There has been talk about a more rock 'n' roll oriented record, Purple Panther. Can we expect a release?

Rock album coming soon.

How did you hook up with DJ Afterthought?

I met Ryan while I was on tour in Pittsburgh. I needed a DJ and he stepped up, been with me ever since. One of the best show DJs I've ever seen.

How do Pittsburgh crowds measure up with the rest of the country?

On this particular tour, the Pittsburgh show was the best so far. Crowd was huge and intense.

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