Riff Raff: Faking It Until He Made It

On the red carpet at SXSW 2012On the red carpet at SXSW 2012

“Maybe it was initially dress-up, but now the costume is more real than the boy who first donned it. Horst Simco was a quiet, pensive kid who dreamed of rappers' lifestyles. His first tattoos and his initial, trying-too-hard accent weren't supposed to be funny; they were his awkward attempts to join the club. He turned from Horst (the one who played by the rules) into Riff Raff (the disreputable one) because hip-hop was a world where confident, sharp-dressed men were swooned over, where the normal rules of decorum, manners and waiting until the third date didn't apply.” All photos by Marco Torres.

For the full story, read: Becoming Riff Raff: How a White Suburban Kid Morphed Into Today's Most Enigmatic Rapper

See also: “Who Bob Dylan?” Outtakes From Our Riff Raff Cover Story

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