Scene Unseen poster

Friday night’s free Scene Unseen party is billed as “Our favorite discoveries from your favorite scenes,” which feels like a too-normal pitch for a genre-mashing late night shindig offering everything from Berlin-style ping pong to the SF debut of one of the moment’s weirdest rappers. With a whole bunch of electronica and hip hop on deck, that the evening is free with an RSVP on Do415 seems almost criminal.

On the local front, you’ve got Ghosts on Tape‘s dark house and Elephant & Castle‘s textured electronic pop, alongside hosts Trill Team 6 and a long list of notable local DJs. The night’s also the SF debut of Floating Points, a.k.a. Sam Shepherd, a producer, DJ and neuroscientist(?!) whose Shadows EP suggests an impressive expansive outlook on jazz-influenced techno.

But it’s the other SF debut that has me most curious, because despite spending more time than I’d care to admit thinking about it, I am still mystified by the music of Riff Raff, the Texas-born rapper/recent Diplo signee/Internet goofball/reality show veteran (a twenty-first century multi-hyphenate, to be sure). Riff Raff was partly responsible for one of my favorite rap songs this year, and he’s great at tossing off strangely compelling non sequiturs over some well-picked beats. It’s a skill that Lil B shares, and, like B, listening to Riff Raff can prompt the same think-piecey questions: Is he a genius? A joker? Both? Does it matter? Sample his latest mixtape and decide for yourself below.