Roach Gigz‘ new video for “Magic Gas“, off his recent mixtape Roachy Balboa, is, appropriately enough, set in front of a gast station in his hometown of San Francisco. Shot by frequent collaborator Aris Jerome on what looks to be a typical California afternoon, prominently featured is a sign emblazoned on the side of the station proclaiming “Smile, you’re in SF.” While Roach doesn’t do a whole lot of smiling in the clip, his flow is so constant that his gold grillz seem to always be on display.
The song depicts the journey of a young Roach growing up dabbling in typical juvenile delinquency and making the transition to the respected 22 year old emcee that we see today. Despite what his tumultuous past may imply, it’s clear from Roach’s skilled lyricism and dexterity that he is not only gifted, but wise beyond his years. As if his intelligence doesn’t show through in his rhymes, he includes the line “I was a crook / But I never got below a 3.0 on my report card,” proving just how much of a chameleon the shifty rapper can be.
Though the subject matter is far from uplifting, the track effectively acts as a reminder from Roach, both to the audience and to himself, of how far he’s come in both rap and, more generally, in life. Because of the distance he has gained between who he was and who he is, the video and the song have an air of undeniable comfort, something a younger Roach Gigz sounds like he was definitely lacking, and that is what makes a potentially somber clip so enjoyable.