RiFF RAFF, one of hip-hop's most polarizing figures, continues his prolific and unconventional approach to his rap career with the release of Balloween.
Not just a catchy title, Balloween is a full-fledged Halloween-themed album. Seriously. It also happens to be really good.
If you're looking for something to play at your Halloween shindig alongside your 1989 Hallmark cassette of Spooky Sounds, Balloween is it. Here are five must-hear moments.
The Intro - Straight out of the gate we're greeted with RiFF's infectious zeal. Putting on his best Dracula voice and greeting us, "Welcome to Balloween ha-ha-ha," he then launches into what would be a RiFF RAFF horror film's opening titles of an intro track.
He's getting others into the spirit - Joining RiFF on the second track, "Back From the Dead," is one of our favorites, British MC Skepta. With a fun eerie beat, the contrast between their two styles sets the tone for the rest of the album's feel-good elements.
Lil B is back at his most based - One of Balloween's biggest surprises is "Working Everyday." RiFF somehow channels Lil B's peak early based-ness for a motivational record that feels like that montage in the teen horror film when the protagonists band together to stop the murderer.
There's a hip-house song - Remember the rapping-over-house-music trend of the late '80s/early '90s? RiFF does, and he's bringing it back with "Sold the House" as, by law, every hip-house track has to contain some sort of "house" pun in the title.
There's a country song with Travis Barker - In RiFF's most poignant track since "Time," "Heart of Gold" with Travis Barker offers a moment of clarity a midst the spooky Halloween fun, and begin the trek home with a bag full of candy at its more thought-provoking and inspirational.