Childhood & Early Life
Riff Raff was born Horst Christian Simco on January 29, 1982, in Houston, Texas, to a maid mother, Anita, and a war veteran, Ronald. His father was a patient of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which happens to be very common among war veterans. Apart from PTSD, he suffered from multiple illnesses, which further led to a lot of distress at home.
They were not particularly financially able and both his parents had to do multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. Riff was the second child in the family, and his mother’s family was from Germany. His grandmother was a survivor of the Holocaust.
Riff grew up in a shady neighborhood in Copperfield, Texas, and spent the early few years of his life playing different sports, such as basketball. He was not very keen on making a career in music, although he liked to listen to rap songs.
He was known as one of the best basketball players in school, and before he entered high school, he was almost sure about making a career in the sport. By the time his family moved to Stone Creek, he had turned into a brilliant basketball player and was an integral part of his school’s team. However, a few brawls in his school made him drop out in the senior year though he somehow managed to finish his graduation.
His career in basketball was almost over, following his suspension from the school, and around this time, his father fell sick and the family had to move frequently for his treatment. After the divorce of his parents, Riff took care of his father and majored in liberal arts from Hibbing Community College.
He had, by the end of college, grown immense interest in rapping. He went back to his hometown and did odd jobs before finally moving to Los Angeles (LA) to make a serious career in music.
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In 2005, immediately after he landed in LA, he started rapping and participating in underground rap battles. Eventually, he started making CDs of his raps on borrowed beats from famous rappers.
Around 2008, the social media scene was growing rapidly, and Riff made the full use of it by releasing his songs on various sites, such as ‘YouTube,’ ‘Myspace,’ and ‘WorldStarHipHop.’ D.B. da Boss became his ally in his ventures and provided him free equipment and a studio.
He did several other things to come into the limelight, such as giving auditions for various talent hunt shows and reality shows. Somehow, he got the chance to be on MTV’s ‘From G’s to Gents’ and flew to Atlanta to participate in the show’s second season. Although he was eliminated on the second episode itself, he was successful in leaving a long-lasting impression on the viewers’ minds.
In the year 2009, things finally started going his way when he got a call from Simon Rex, a rapper and comedian. Simon and Riff Raff, along with Andy Milonakis, formed the rap group ‘Three Loco.’ Riff made the most out of the popularity of his group mates and earned a decent social media following and fan base.
In 2011, he got in touch with Soulja Boy, who offered him a deal to sing under his label ‘SODMG.’ Meanwhile, Riff kept making music videos and two of his singles, ‘Jose Canseco’ and ‘Marc Jacobs,’ in particular, became instant fan favorites.
In mid-2012, he was signed on by Diplo’s label, ‘Mad Decent,’ under which he released a number of mixtapes, such as ‘Summer of Surf’ and ‘Birth of an Icon,’ and an independent album, ‘The Golden Alien.’ His mixtapes achieved unprecedented levels of success, with ‘Birth of an Icon’ receiving the honor of ‘Mixtape of the Week’ by Stereogum.
In early 2013, he announced that the work on his debut full-fledged album was almost over and it would be released soon. The album, titled ‘Neon Icon,’ released in June 2014. Some of the singles from the album had already made waves and the album was destined to be successful. Even the harshest of music critics gave the album very good feedback. Hence, it seemed Riff had finally arrived on the mainstream rapping scene.
‘Rolling Stone’ magazine included the album on their ‘27 Must-Hear Albums of 2014’ list, which was a big honor for a new artist such as Riff. The success of the album was almost immediately followed by the announcement of the second album, ‘Peach Panther.’
The first single from the second album, titled ‘Spazz Out,’ was released in 2015, and after that, the album went through troubled waters. It was later announced that the album would only be able to make its way into the markets by 2016. The album finally released to widespread acclaim in June 2016.
Riff entered into collaboration with several other rappers during this time, and in April 2016, he announced his collaboration with ‘Stampede Management’ and ‘BMG.’ He dreamed of creating a full-fledged production company, which would cater to musicians, filmmakers, actors, and writers.
He raised 4,000,000 USD to start ‘Neon Nation Corporation.’ However, a controversy followed, and all of his partners turned their backs on him. Most of it was due to the mismanagement of a major issue.
Riff has been very active as an actor too. He appeared on one episode of ‘Major Lazer,’ where he made a guest appearance, as a scientist. He appeared on the reality show ‘The Challenge,’ in November 2017. Before that he had made a small appearance in the film ‘One Life to Live,’ as Jamie Franko.
Riff Raff has been a part of several controversies, due to his alcohol and drug issues. On August 11, 2013, he was arrested in North Carolina, when police found alcohol and marijuana in his car. He was taken into prison but was released without much fuss, the same night.
Riff is known for his love for tattoos, and one of his tattoos is dedicated to Jesus Christ, of whom he is an avid follower.
He is in a relationship with fellow rapper Lil Debbie.