In San Francisco artist Frak’s new music video, “Small Talk,” the emcee — whose 2014 release, Bagels, was named one of SF Weekly‘s “Favorite Local Hip-Hop Releases of 2014” — harps on two issues that are endemic to the Bay Area: gentrification and our obsession with technology.
Fellow San Franciscan Watsky also appears on the track, and the two wordsmiths trade verses about “the way the tech boom has allowed the virtual world to slowly crawl into the real one, and have a real impact on the city we grew up in,” says Frak who co-directed the film and produced the song’s beat. “I’ve been able to see the way the neighborhood has transformed since I was a kid and the effect it has had on the culture and diversity of the Bay as a whole.”
Throughout the five-minute video, a hooded person whose face is obscured by a huge smiley face emoji mask, wanders around San Francisco, walking down the streets of the Mission and shopping in markets and shoe stores. Frak describes the experience of filming the video using the masked figure as “almost like a social experiment, as the reactions from the people we crossed showed how tiresome the neighborhood was with the tech as a whole.”
The wide grin on the mask also added a double element to the video, he says, as it represents how people attempt to front and show off on social media, showing only the best and happiest moments of their life, despite how false they may be when compared to reality.