On Neon Icon's opening track, Introducing The Icon, Houston emcee Riff Raff is humorous, free-associative and surprisingly dense.
His freestyle flow, along with a propensity for hooks that occasionally exude longing and pathos, have always been Riff Raff's biggest strengths, and they turn up here, too, especially on poignant Versace Python and riotously funny Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwwdinz.
But at times it seems like the rapper is using his unique delivery to disguise his inadequate rhyme skills. Riff's rudimentary writing is most exposed when he's trying to establish a romantic connection on sugary top-40 bait Maybe You Love Me.
But searching for depth in an emcee so obviously beholden to gimmicks is a fool's errand, and if you give that up, you're rewarded with low-stakes perfectly inoffensive jams.
Top track: Lava Glaciers