Roach Gigz :: Bitch, I'm a Player :: Thizz City
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Bitch, I'm a Player] "I used to get hit, kicked, and all that shit
I was always actin up, I deserved that shit
Came out angry when she birthed that kid
In pre-school, I crawled under the desk
so I could peek under the teacher dress
Creative plots on how turn her husband into an ex
In kindergarten, I hustled, in my tighty whities
Traded this one kid for his Mighty Max toys
and thought it was all cool
'til his parents got annoyed and called the school
Who made me give 'em back, I still hate his parents' bitch ass for that
In the second grade, I got my first pair of J's
My big titty teacher noticed my nice shoes
I hoped they might get her in right mood but it didn't work
So I became a crook there, stole books from the book fair
Right outside her classroom she caught me, called me naughty
but didn't send me to the office
I knew you wanted my cock, bitch!"

This should give you a little idea of the type of humor steez that Roach Gigz is on. Roach's bio states the 21 year-old was conceived in Nicaragua during the war between Contra and Sandinista forces, but the war was pretty much over in 1989 as the rebels had agreed to disband and participate in political elections the next year. It's telling that the entire Iran-Contra scandal happened before Roach could even be aware of it, let alone theoretically conceived. My point is that I don't know why his bio made a point of it at all, when it could have skipped over this trivial fact right to his upbringing in the Bay Area, and the fact he chose his rap name based on a character from the movie "Next Friday."

Roach gained fame locally through "Roachy Balboa" mixtapes, then got more nationally by appearing on MTV2's Sucker Free series. "Bitch, I'm a Player" is an intentionally misogynistic name, and most of his humor is as well. He's lyrically the 21st century equivalent of Too $hort, from his raunchy subject matter to his frequent use of that five letter pejorative for women. Here's a more interesting fact than whether or not he was conceived during a war in Central America - by the time he was born in 1990, Todd Shaw was releasing his SIXTH album. That means Roach Gigz has a long way to go to catch up to his apparent idol, but songs like "Backseat Hotel Room" will give him plenty of momentum:

"Man these bitches really wanna hit
I met her off 6, the place was the Mezzanine
I think her name was Stephanie, face all heavenly
My thoughts all devilish, hotter than some devil piss
Go through with this then I'm straight to the devil
as my chick back at home, but I gotta get my mack on
Plus this the last song, I know that's wrong
But she think that my cash long, she recognize my voice
So she made the choice, to dip in my whip
Put her hand on my pants, advance to my dick
My right hand on her clit, she think she gon' hit the telly
But I don't cash out for her to pull her ass out"

The San Francisco rapper has the sound emblematic of today's thizz generation of rappers, with a vocal tone that's a little bit higher pitched and a flow that is prone to go off the beat and rhyme for creativity's sake, perhaps best explained by song titles like "F a Chorus." Production is provided throughout by C-Loz, which maintains a consistent sound at the expense OF a little bit of creativity. It's not that Loz is a bad beat maestro, but it would be interesting to hear how he could flow to the hype of his Bay Area peers, particularly given this release is being given away for free (although it will be included in a limited edition physical CD including his other mixtapes later this year). Like many of his modern day Bay Area peers, he has a rather open minded attitude about the recreational use of pharmaceuticals, evidenced by "Drugs" featuring DB Tha General. On the song he brags about taking pills "that'll make the Lion in the Wizard of Oz grow balls" and having "holes in my brain the size of Cheerios and loose change." If he's comfortable with that, then let him do his thizzle dance.

"Bitch, I'm a Player" walks a very thin line between a celebration of California hip-hop excess and a parody of it, but Roach Gigz' raw (and I mean Eddie Murphy level "Raw") humor manages to avoid the pitfalls of becoming uninteresting over the 34:43 length of these 12 tracks. Guest appearances by Lil 4Tay, Husalah and Lil B the Based God (#TYBG) keep things flowing as well. I can't say this is the best of what Roach Gigz can do or will do in the future, but as a free download it was worth the space it takes up on my hard drive and iPod.

Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10

Originally posted: August 2nd, 2011