Houston rapper Riff Raff, born Horst Christian Simco, has long carried himself with a larger-than-life swagger, which explains, at least in part, why actor James Franco likely modelled his bizzaro "Spring Breakers" character after the charismatic MC.

Houston rapper Riff Raff, born Horst Christian Simco, has long carried himself with a larger-than-life swagger, which explains, at least in part, why actor James Franco likely modelled his bizzaro “Spring Breakers” character after the charismatic MC.

A bulk of the songs on Raff’s proper debut, Neon Icon, are similarly over-the-top, filled with stream-of-consciousness outbursts (“Jetson, Judy/ Big booty,” he hollers on the House of Pain-biting “Introducing the Icon”) and colorful boasts. “I can shoot a BB through a frosted Cheerio/ From 50 yards away,” he brags memorably on one tune. Less successful are those moments where the cartoonish rapper contorts to fit more conventional form, such as he does on the country-tinged “Time,” which comes on like a half-formed Bubba Sparxxx castaway.

Better are those comparatively absurdist turns where Riff Raff riffs on freestyling for dolphins, shouts out to bi-curious mermaids and notes how he “ate the pork chop sandwich with the tartar sauce in the packet that I found in my purple Prada pocket protector.” Dude might be something of a novelty, but his performance art, such as it is, operates at peak form here.

Photo courtesy of the artist