4 reasons why G-Eazy is going to blow up/turn up/steal your girl

by on July 16, 2014

Posted in: Hip Hop, Music

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Photo courtesy of MTV

Since Oakland’s G-Eazy released his first commercially successful album, “These Things Happen,” on June 23, his name has been popping up in rap circles all across the nation. The album is 16-deep with absolute bangers, and while you wouldn’t have stumbled upon his music on iTunes until just recently, he really has been poised to break out for a number of years now. He’s a true talent with a unique background, sound, and image that have made him a longtime favorite of websites like Good Music All Day. Check out the below list of reasons why he’s poised to blow up. Take a listen to the playlist here to choose your favorites.

PRODUCTION: –BOLD STATEMENT DISCLAIMER– G-Eazy and his production team utilize samples better than pretty much anyone in hip-hop today. Listen to “Netflix,” “Make-Up Sex,” “Dear Ms. Rose,” “Fried Rice,” or “Runaround Sue” and you’ll quickly see how well he works with samples from a wide range of genres. His production (which he often handles himself) is consistently solid, and he has a knack for taking indie/oldie samples and chopping them up into unlikely (but brilliant) beats. Listen to his “Kings,” then Drake’s “Dreams Money Can Buy,” and decide for yourself who uses the sample better (one vote for G-Eazy here).

BRAND: G-Eazy has created a unique brand for himself. His image is one of the most unique in today’s hip-hop culture, relying on a blend of timeless 1950s style (pompadour haircut, leather jacket) and the attitude of a whisky-sipping lady killer/nightly SoHo rager. It’s no wonder he likes to call himself the “rap James Dean” (looks a little bit more like the rap Sodapop/Ponyboy to me, but James Dean definitely works).

A few weeks ago I found myself in downtown Berkeley running an errand, and sidewalks were packed with teenage kids (tumblr girls and G-Eazy look-alikes, hair and all) waiting outside Rasputin Records for a record signing (G still donned his trademark leather jacket despite 90 degree temps). It’s no huge shock that he pulled such a turnout because of his Oakland roots, but it isn’t just kids in the Bay buzzing about his music; he sells out shows all over the nation. And these kids aren’t only fans of his music; they imitate the trademarks of his personal style. He even started bringing his personal barber on tour with him in response to popular requests for hair care advice (that’s when you know you made it). His easily recognizable image has certainly played a role in the success of his budding career.

LYRICISM: You know a rapper is recognizable when he/she has a signature rhyme scheme, and I can’t of anyone who rattles off AAAABBBBCCCCDDDD… verses (“Downtown Love”) any better/more frequently than G-Eazy does. His rhymes may seem simple, but they pack their fair share poetic punch, too. On top off that, G-Eazy embraces the lyricism of conscious rap (“This Is Me”), party records (“I Mean It,”), and laid back, sample-driven records (“Netflix”). And they’re all equally lyrically engaging as he highlights a different aspect of his image (homegrown talent, rapper-producer, turn-up specialist) on each record.

TECHNICAL CHOPS: G-Eazy is unique among most rappers in that he completed a college education. He graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 2011 with a BS in Music Industry Studies, and it shows. Listen to any of his music and you’ll see how well he understands recording/sampling/editing. He isn’t just a talented kid who lays down rhymes on a packaged beat. Instead, he takes control of the whole process, and the product is refined and uniquely personalized. Lots of up-and-coming rappers get stuck in a deep “generic” phase. Not G-Eazy.

He also seems to have a solid understanding of how to navigate the music industry. In his young career he’s already recorded with young talents like Skizzy Mars, KYLE, and Hoody Allen in addition to more established guys like A$AP Ferg and Yay Area kinfolk E-40. He’s even opened for the likes of Drake, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg, so you can be sure his name is buzzing around quite a bit.

Full playlist: https://soundcloud.com/eric-machado-12/sets/g-eazy