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Selected as one of 106 KMEL’s Top 10 Freshman Rappers of the Bay Area, 21-year-old San Francisco native Roach Gigz has gone from virtually unknown to one of the hottest artists on the West Coast in just four years.Read More...
Born and raised in San Francisco, CA, Roach was conceived in Nicaragua during the Contra and Sandinista war. His father was a supporter of the Sandinista Liberation Front and has never lived in the United States but Roach’s mom moved to San Francisco and raised him as a single mother.
Growing up in such a racially diverse city directly affected Roach’s approach to his art. “If people have only heard my music and know my name but have never seen me, they are surprised to find out I'm not Black,” says Roach. “From my experience growing up, race was never really an issue. I'm just an authentic and cool dude and I think my fans see that. It ain't about race. It’s about the music.”
Roach Gigz first gained local fame with close friend Lil 4Tay as one half of the group Bitch I Go (B.I.G.). The duo made some noise with the hyphy hit song “I Get It.” However, with no official album or mixtape to tide the fans over things started slowing down for B.I.G. in 2008 and Roach decided to focus more on his solo career.
It was 2009’s Buckets and Booty Calls mixtape that truly introduced Roach’s face and Frisco swagger to the masses. The conceptual mixtape, released last September and inspired by real was both funny and filled with good music. “I got in this big car accident after a show and my scraper got totaled. After that I bought a bucket Ford Tempo for $100 off my cousin. I was driving in that for like two months, and one night the idea just popped in my head.”
The mixtape containing several examples of what Roach calls his “late night pussy expeditions,” took off overnight spawning the Northern California anthem “My Bitch Look Better.” The mixtape to date has been downloaded over 45,000 times.
In May of 2010 Roach followed Buckets and Booty Calls with the lyrically superior Roachy Balboa mixtape. Where B &B was just a small part of his story, Balboa, both a play on fictitious boxer Rocky Balboa and Roach’s own Italian heritage, gave a deeper glimpse into his potential as an artist.
“I put all my money into renting this tiny empty room and built my own little studio. I stayed in that bitch all the time, making music and just training to get better. Roachy Balboa is just the first preview of that,” says Gigz. “I feel like I'm growing how anybody should if their doing what they love and putting their all into being the best they possibly be at. I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way.” Balboa has already exceeded its predecessor’s numbers in listens and downloads in just a fraction of the time.
With two successful mixtapes under his belt Roach is currently preparing his debut album, tentatively titled Therapy Sessions, which is scheduled to be released this fall. The album is shaping up to be a very personal one. Roach says the music will touch on the ups and downs of his life from the struggles he’s been through growing up in the Bay to the birth of his newborn son.
“I’ve seen the hunger in his eyes since day one,” says Mistah F.A.B. “With the proper support he may get his chance to be the new voice of the modern day Bay Area.” With his unconventional style and undeniable charisma it is only a matter of time before the rest of the world feels the same way.