There is no doubt that Gerald Gillum, better known by G-Eazy, is one of the hottest rappers in the game right now. There is not quite anyone in the hip-hop industry at the moment that replicates the unique style and flow that G-Eazy currently exemplifies and has demonstrated since day one.
Gillum is a 26-year-old American rapper from the San Francisco Bay area in California who, just a few short years ago, was a young kid looking to make a name for himself. He started his career when he began releasing mixtapes such as “The Endless Summer” and “Must Be Nice” in 2010 and 2011, respectively. His songs started to gain recognition and he began to open up for some big artists such as Lil Wayne on tour. G-Eazy followed up these mixtapes with his debut album “These Things Happen” in 2014. The album reached number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. top rhythm and blues and hip-hop albums.
Gillum then went on tour and started to work on his next album “When It’s Dark Out,” which was released Dec. 4. This album reached number five on the Billboard 200 and also topped out at number one on the Billboard US Top R&B and hip-hop albums. Appropriately, G-Eazy decided to go on a world tour following the release of “When It’s Dark Out,” which included two sold-out shows at the Fillmore Theater right here in Philadelphia. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the second night he was in Philly and there is no other way to describe the way I felt when I walked out of the venue except for speechless.
Gillum has a very unique style of music that includes rapping about fame, women and wealth but at the same time adds humbling elements about staying true to oneself and letting one’s personality show. This is exactly why the audience of his music includes such a broad age group; his music attracts fans ranging from middle schoolers to young adults, all of whom were at the concert. His style appeals to everyone, which is one of the qualities that make him so unique. Also, he does not dress like the stereotypical rapper. You will find him wearing skin-tight pants and a plain T-shirt, usually all black. His hair is perfectly slicked back and he always wears an elegant watch portraying to his audience that he is different and really prides himself on his appearance. There is no one who raps, dresses and acts like G-Eazy, which is what truly makes him one of a kind.
This is the third time I have seen G-Eazy live. I was at his “These Things Happen” tour when he came to Philadelphia to do a show at the Trocadero Theater and I saw him perform at the annual Made in America music festival. His most recent show was by far his best one yet. The amount of energy and passion he put into performing for almost two straight hours was absolutely remarkable. What is even more amazing to think about is that he has been doing this practically every single night since he began his tour in early January and will continue to do so through May.
It is really interesting to see how G-Eazy has progressed throughout his career as a rapper and an individual since seeing him live for the first time. He has definitely matured and has handled the fame very calmly. He knows he has come a long way since his first mixtapes were released, and this level of maturation was exemplified at his latest performance at the Fillmore.
The crowd standing on their feet screaming G-Eazy’s name as he came on stage just proved to me that he finally has made it. Gillum had the people going absolutely insane during his more popular songs like “Random,” “You Got Me” and “I Mean It,” but also had the crowd emotionally mesmerized with his slower songs such as “Let’s Get Lost,” “Tumblr Girls” and perhaps his most personal song to date, “Everything Will Be OK,” which was written about Gillum’s relationship with his mother’s deceased partner. There was one point at the end of “Everything Will Be OK” where you could hear his voice crack and start to break down as he told the story of one of the darkest chapters in his personal life. I cannot say that I stood there without being emotionally affected by his performance. You’ll have to listen to that song to see what I mean though, but his transition to singing one of his most popular songs at the moment “Me, Myself and I” is what the crowd needed to hype up the mood. It is truly amazing how he can incorporate this style of “turn up” rap so effortlessly with incredibly personal music.
If you have not heard of any songs by G-Eazy, I strongly suggest you listen to his music. You will undoubtedly see where all the hype about him is coming from.