RiFF RaFF and Skepta have released a new song called “Back From the Dead,” and it might just be the weirdest, most unlikely combination of 2016.
One artist hails from Houston, Texas; the other from Tottenham, London. One is a middle-class white kid who carved out a career for himself as a surrealist minstrel show of Southern hip-hop; the other a humble giant of Grime with years under his belt, respeck on his name and co-signs from Drake and Pharrell. One has a Mercury prize; the other has an MTV tattoo.
RiFF RaFF and Skepta are polar opposites in every way, but if you’ve ever read a crappy love column in your auntie’s favorite magazine, you’ll know opposites sometimes attract.
Like many great horror stories, “Back From the Dead” takes place in the South. The 808s shake, the drums slap, and there’s a haunting melody in the background that sends chills down the spine of the beat. RiFF RaFF leads the resurrection, only his robes are black, not neon. His service veers towards the outlandish (“Versace gingivitis, diamonds on my pacifier”), but his delivery remains befitting of the occasion, especially his eerie hook.
Every horror film needs a monster, though. Skepta emerges from the shadows at the two-minute mark, punctuating each bar like a “Lennox Lewis ting.” His vocal strength is scary, but it’s Skepta’s sinister nature that will make you shit your pants. “You think you scary? / I’m dead already, my funeral was amazing, it was beautiful / Doves flying, bruddas blazing in the cubicles,” he raps in such a calm yet commanding way. Like Michael Myers in Halloween 4, Skepta’s back from the dead, and he’s walking—not running—towards you with a mic in his hand.
RiFF RaFF and Skepta is a combination that shouldn’t work, but does. “Back From the Dead” will appear on RiFF RaFF’s upcoming Balloween mixtape, dropping October 25.
By Andy James. You can follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: SoundCloud