Oakland’s Gerald Gillum, better known as G-Eazy has climbed the ladder of fame, from the early days of Must Be Nice to recent chart-climbing classic, When It’s Dark Out. A few things remain the same: the goals, dreams, and aspirations of this artist. The climb to the top has always been on Gerald’s mind, and he has always been an advocate of setting your sights to the highest of elevations, and working your hardest to reach your target. As he puts it, “And in a year I went from overlooked to overbooked. You won’t ever understand the work it took.”
Check out what life on the road is like for G-Eazy now:
Standing in line for the photo pit at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, I ran into Grady Brannan, Gerald’s personal photographer. I asked him if I could snap a quick photo, he agreed, and I took his portrait just as he has taken portraits of countless hip-hop legends. The anticipation began to build as I reviewed my photo and the lights dimmed. “Intro” from When It’s Dark Out slowly fading into the howls, wails, and roars from the crowd behind me.
G-Eazy hit the stage with an explosion of pyrotechnics and light. The blaring tones from the crowd hitting me harder than the bass frequencies from the speakers. Bras sailed through the air, fire and smoke. G-Eazy brought the energy from the very start. Dressed in all black with his hair slicked back, and a faded Metallica shirt on, he was truly ready to rock out. His first track was “Random” continuing through the album following the flow of his recent album and bringing out a slew of guests. Devon Baldwin joined for “Lets get Lost,” followed by appearances from Logic, A$AP Ferg, and Marc E Bassy, and finally one and only Based God. Lil B.
The performance steadily built into a heated climax, playing high energy tracks such as “Me, Myself, and I,” “I like Tuh,” “Loaded,” and “Forbes. “Mama I made it to Forbes!” Referencing his success as he tells his mother who was watching her sons performance throughout the entire night. The music then transitioned into the introspective “Everything Will Be Ok” which brought tears to some members of the audience. The track tells a story of his mother and a woman she dated who was found dead in their basement, but truly relates to Gerald describing a journey in his life and coming full circle.
In the track “Me, Myself, and I,” G-Eazy talks about his life taking on two sides. He has always referred to the gemini within him that separates the persona of G-Eazy from the regular Gerald. This is also expressed in the production of his music. The high-energy, hip-hop-slapper, Bay-area style along side the soulful, downtempo, emotionally introspective tracks with deeper meanings. The Bay Area native is living the dream that he aspired to for years. From selling out the Fillmore for the first time, to playing at Outside Lands, and now selling out full tours, venue after venue. Gerald continued referencing all night the fact that this was a very special event for him. Finishing up his tour in the place hehe grew up in, with friends, family, and fans there to support his accomplishment.
The show had to end with the hit track “I mean It” featuring artists Remo, and a remix with E-40. The energy level at the end of this show was what you can expect from an intro quoting the famous work of the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage against the dying of the light.”
All Photos by Mark DeRutte