When Riff Raff appeared on MTV's From G's to Gents in 2009, he donned the MTV logo on the right side of his neck and although the Houston-based artist was eliminated quickly, now he's leaps and bounds beyond reality TV show (and he's got a hell of a lot more tattoos).

Riff Raff's closely affiliated with Soulja Boy's SODMG, and he recently signed an eight-album deal with Diplo's Mad Decent label. It's almost pointless to bullet-point Riff Raff's life because, well, he he has everything tattooed on him. From the footprint on his birth certificate to advertisement for BET, WorldStarHipHop, and MTV, Raff doesn't give a fuck what he gets tattooed on himself—and often he doesn't remember getting inked either. 

The rapper known as Kokayne Dawkinz, Jody Highroller and the Rice Emperor just released a new single with his group Three Loco, comprised of MTV star Andy Milonakis and former VJ Simon Rex (a.k.a. Dirt Nasty). After shooting a video with Kitty Pryde in Florida and stopping at the Bamboozle Festival in Jersey, Riff Raff came by the Complex offices to talk about his ink last week-or at least what he remembers of it. 

RELATED: The 25 Best RiFF RAFF Vines

Interview by Lauren Nostro (@LAURENcynthia)

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What was the first tattoo that you got done?

My first tattoo was on my right shoulder/tricep, it says ‘The City of H-Town.’ [Below that] it says 'It’s Understood It Ain’t All Good' and it has a money symbol within it, meaning that everything isn’t all good because when money is involved, then people have certain motives and what have you. If money isn’t being provided properly then it’s not all good so it needs to be understood that it ain’t all good.

[On the other side of my arm] is the National Baller’s Association. It’s not National Basketball Association but National Baller’s. You know, balling is just balling. Then [on the right side of my stomach] it says '7 Time All Star' of the National Baller’s Association. For these 7 years, it’s balling...

 

National Baller’s Association. It’s not National Basketball Association but National Baller’s. You know, balling is just balling.

 

[On my forearms] it says 'Texas Raized.' It’s spelled with a Z. People think this says Texas Raisin but it doesn’t. The bricks is just a design of a wall with bricks on it.

On my hands, I have Codine Phene [sic], Dream Team.

On my arms it says Aces Only. You know like, you’re a magician, you have tricks up your sleeve, it’s aces only up the sleeves. 

I have Kokayne Dawkins on my left ribs, it’s just one of my names. I have Texas. They were supposed to do it Ethiopia but they didn’t draw it right. It was supposed to be Mars, it was supposed to be either Mars or Australia and they messed it up. It was a combination of Mars and Australia and they mixed it together and it just happens to look like Texas. It was Texas but it’s like this line was supposed to be a little out there and it was supposed to be Texas. They did it perfect. 

 

 


Tell me more about The Freestyle Scientist tattoo. 

On the left side of my chest I have The Freestyle Scientist, that’s self explanatory. And because Bart, rhymes with heart so it’s close to my heart.

What about the one stamped on your stomach under your chain?

S.O.D. Money, that’s my deal with Soulja Boy that’s my monumental moment in my life.

What do the characters on the back of your left arm mean?

 

 

On the left side of my chest I have The Freestyle Scientist, that’s self explanatory. And because Bart, rhymes with heart so it’s close to my heart.

 

This says ‘Bring The Rice Out’ in Chinese, yeah.

You also have a martian tattoo, right?

That’s a martian, it’s just self-explanatory. [It says, 'We Are Not The Same' and yes/no and no is circled.]

So, who designs all of these tattoos?

I don’t know, I woke up and it was just on my arm.

You don’t remember being tattooed?

A lot of these I don’t remember.

Which ones do you remember?

The first one I got. Then, I just started waking up with tattoos.

 

 

 

Let’s talk about the BET and WorldStarHipHop tattoos.

Those tattoos I just...decided to get them. Not at the same time though. I just thought they would be a good idea.

Why did you get the BET one?

I don’t know I just thought it would be a good idea. I watched a lot of BET. When I was growing up, like from 2003 to 2004, I didn’t even go outside, I just watched 106 and Park everyday. Reruns of it. After that, I woke up and [had a] tattoo on me. How am I supposed to deal with that when I wake up and have a tattoo on me?

Are you happy when you wake up with these tattoos?

 

When I was growing up, like from 2003 to 2004, I didn’t even go outside, I just watched 106 and Park everyday. Reruns of it.

 

It’s okay, I haven’t had an episode like that in three years where I woke up with a tattoo.

What's your newest tattoo?

I don’t even know.

You don’t remember the last tattoo you got?

The stars on my legs?

Tell me about those.

Because if you notice, there’s seven stars on each one. I didn’t want to be greedy and just give one leg seven stars so I got seven on the other one to be equal. Seven time all star of the National Baller’s Association. I have Riff Raff down the back of my legs too.

And then the MTV one on your neck.

I got that before the show, From G’s to Gents.

Why did you get that?

I was supposed to have a talk show on MTV. It hasn’t happened yet. Riff Raff-10 years straight, talk show. You know like the Jerry Springer show? It’s not on MTV is it? Imagine if it was and Jerry Springer wasn’t hosting, it was me.

Oh really, so would it be the same premise?

Well the host would be getting paid a lot more than the host of Jerry Springer.

What kind of guests would you have on it?

Anybody who’s anybody and a lot of people who are about to be somebody and a whole lot of nobodies.

 

 


What are the tattoos on your back about?

I don’t know. Tell me what picture it is, I don’t even know.

It looks like some tornadoes.

It says 'Wreckin' Tha Scene, Tha Texas Tornado.' I mean I woke up, it was on there and I think there was a tornado outside so I was like, 'I’m gonna go get a tornado tattoo.'

Do you know who does all of these tattoos for you?

Random people, different ones.

You’ll trust anyone to tattoo you?

 

 

 

No, I have to see their work first.

Who was your favorite artist that has tattooed you?

Damn, is it bad if I don’t know anyone’s name?

No, it’s honest. 

I don’t even know their nickname or nothing, just ‘tattoo guy.’

On the other side of your back, that says ‘What’s higher than a king? A freestyle Ace.” Any inspiration behind that one?

Just, I mean, what’s higher than a king? A freestyle ace. I don’t know. There’s no significance it just is what it is.

Do you plan on getting any more tattoos?

Do I plan on it? No.

But you probably will?

Well no, actually, yeah I have to get another one. When me and Diplo do our first release and all the things that we’re doing, then I’ll go get a tattoo. It would be the Mad Decent logo.

Do you think Diplo would get it too?

I’m going to make him get it.

 

 


Do you have any tattoos that we can’t see right now?

Nope. That’s not me, I’m not that guy who has a snake coming out of an apple tattooed on his ass. [Laughs] That’s another thing that I, I just don’t feel like it’s right for a man to have a tattoo between his waistline and his kneecaps. There’s no excuse for that.

Why?

I don’t know it’s just that every time I’ve seen somebody with a tattoo like that it’s been some uncomfortable situation. I saw this 45-year-old guy riding his bike in a Speedo, riding down the street, and he had one tattoo. It was a little snake dragon tattoo tattooed on his upper thigh and I just got that shit burned in the back of my mind.

Is it because of the placement or the fact that someone was tattooing them there?

 

 

Tattoos aren’t fun unless you’re an idiot. It’s not fun to get tattoos. Unless you’re one of those people that likes to get hooks in their back.

 

The guy who is tattooing it, I mean, you don’t know how bad he needed the money to do that but it couldn’t have been me. But, it’s the fact that this dude thought it was a good idea. And that it was his only tattoo, that’s the one he wanted. I don’t know. ‘If I get a tattoo, I’m gonna get a tattoo on my balls and it’s gonna say ballsy.’ [Laughs] I don’t know the situation.

What tattoo means the most to you?

I don’t know which one, the National Baller’s Association, I love that one.

What’s on the other side of your neck? We missed that one.

Oh yeah, it says ‘One step ahead of the haterz.’ It’s a baby foot, it’s my foot when I was a baby. People always think this is my kid’s. No, I don’t have kids. It was on my birth certificate and I just took the picture in there.

So you remember that tattoo.

I think I got it at the same time as the MTV one.

Wow, you got both sides of your neck tattoo at the same time.

At the same damn time. [Laughs] Not at the same time, but on the same day. I’ve had multiple tattoos done at the same time, on my back and on my arms. Gotta get that shit over. Tattoos aren’t fun unless you’re an idiot. It’s not fun to get tattoos. Unless you’re one of those people that likes to get hooks in their back. ‘Oh this is cool, take my picture mom.’ ‘You’re not going to come down from there.’

 

 


Speaking of hooks, do you have any piercings?

Just my ears. I never got my bellybutton pierced or what have you. [Nipple piercings] goes along with...Ahhhh.

Not for you. What about women with nipple piercings?

No I don’t like women with any piercing-belly button, that’s all.

What about women with tattoos then?

Man, I don’t like girls with a lot of tattoos. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some girls who I really, really like then I’ll see a tattoo on her and I’m like, ‘She can pull that off but I can’t see another girl who I didn’t like as much being able to pull that off.’ This one girl, she had a tattoo across her back. She pulled it off but it was her only tattoo.

 

 

I’m not attracted to a girl [with a lot of tattoos]-not saying that some others aren’t-some people like mashed potatoes some people like to play hot potato.

 

So you don’t like girls with sleeves?

No I don’t, not at all. It reminds me of like I’m looking in the mirror and that’s not good. I’m not homophobic but I’m also not homosexual. I’m not attracted to a girl [with a lot of tattoos]-not saying that some others aren’t-some people like mashed potatoes some people like to play hot potato. If a girl is like, ‘Oh you got all these tattoos why can’t I?’ I’m not saying that you can’t have tattoos all I’m saying is that I’m not going to talk to you anymore if you do have all these tattoos. That’s all I’m saying.

Have you ever met a fan that has any of your tattoos?

I think I did see a couple people with the alien one. I have seen a couple people. I mean, who knows. I also have seen people who have Kokayne Dawkinz on them.

Where’d you get that nickname from?

Why are your shoes cheetah print? Why don’t they have laces in them?

I get the point. I know you said you don’t remember most of your tattoos but do you have any good stories of when you got them? Any vague memories?

Let me give you something. Jerry Seinfeld did this one on my arm. Is that funny? Then George Costanza came in...

Alright, alright. Would you ever get the Icee chain tattooed on you?

I don’t know. It depends. It depends on how I feel about the Icee that day. I can’t say I won’t ever wake up without an Icee tattoo.