Rapper Riff Raff Pulls a James Franco on One Life to Live

Slate's Culture Blog
May 7 2013 1:28 PM

James Franco’s Spring Breakers Inspiration Turns the Tables on One Life to Live

Among the many creative endeavors of James Franco, perhaps the strangest (and that’s saying something) was his three year-stint on long-running soap opera General Hospital. The actor played “Franco,” a sociopathic multimedia artist and serial killer who terrorized the characters of the fictional town of Port Charles, N.Y. Franco said he took the role of “Franco” as an experiment in performance art.

Back on the big screen, Franco recently gave one his most memorable performances as Alien, the sociopathic “gangsta” in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. In an interview with GQ, the actor said the “biggest influence” on that role was real-life Florida rapper Dangeruss. That claim did not sit well with Riff Raff, a Houston-based rapper who insists that the role of Alien was originally meant for him.


Whatever the truth of matter, Riff Raff has now “retaliated” for the snub by dipping his own toes in the soap-opera-based performance-art waters. On One Life to Live he is now playing a “shady art dealer” named “Jamie Franko.” The corn-rowed, tattooed rapper does what is apparently his usual thing, speaking in grand slang and inexplicably juggling the attentions of a coterie of beautiful women. Much like Franco’s Alien in Spring Breakers, Riff Raff’s “Jamie Franko” is the only interesting thing on screen. But it is genuinely interesting.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
Sept. 30 2014 10:44 AM Bull---- Market America is overlooking a plentiful renewable resource: animal manure.
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 30 2014 10:10 AM A Lovable Murderer and Heroic Villain: The Story of Australia's Most Iconic Outlaw
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal. But… What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.