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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is Bay Area Rap Too Insular? Roach Gigz Talks to MTV About the Pitfalls of Being Indie

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM

click to enlarge Roach Gigz wants to get out from behind the Bay Area fence.
  • Roach Gigz wants to get out from behind the Bay Area fence.

For whatever reason, Bay Area hip-hop is an insular beast that often fails to escape its Northern California birthplace. Sure, we have artists like E-40 and the Souls of Mischief that made it into the national spotlight ever so briefly, as well as Lil B, who seems to be on the cusp of stardom. But on the whole, Bay rappers don't get the same exposure as MCs in cities like Atlanta or NYC.

San Francisco's own Roach Gigz took a minute to talk to MTV about this phenomenon, pointing out that he's a known figure out here, but when he goes to New York, he's relatively anonymous. He attributes a big part of it to the independent mindset of Bay Area rap; specifically, the refusal to play by the rules of major label execs, and many rappers' decision to produce and distribute their music themselves.

On the one hand, it's pretty great to have a music scene that doesn't care what anyone else thinks and just plays by its own rules. But on the other hand, when you think of all the great Bay hip-hop acts over the years -- RBL Posse, Rappin 4-Tay, Mac Mall, E-A-Ski, B-Legit, Bored Stiff, Turf Talk, Keak The Sneak, Mistah Fab -- who failed to find a national audience, it can get kind of depressing. With this latest generation of up-and-coming, Internet-savvy Bay rappers (which includes Roachy and Lil B, among others), maybe this region can get the real shine it deserves.

[via Thizzler]

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