Why G-Eazy is the greatest: The Bay, E-40 and his Canadian bromance [Interview]
Toronto, ON – Originally published July 3, 2014 – Back in March, my friend, Kate, talked my ear off for weeks about a show she was going to see. Of course, I asked what artist, to which her response was “this guy who raps and is really fucking cute.” Oh, okay Kate.
When her plans practically belly-flopped, I wound up agreeing to go with her to see this show last minute (shortly before I learned that I would be reviewing it). See, the thing is, I love Kate, but I don’t always love her idea of what “really awesome rap music” is, and agreeing to see someone named “G-Eazy” with no real knowledge of his music could have left me short one friend. (No shade here, by the way. If you heard even half of the songs that Kate makes me sit through, you’d completely understand my apprehensiveness.)
Still, against my better judgment, I stuck to my word and trekked out to The MOD Club in Toronto to be apart of the These Things Happen Tour. Everything I had expected to happen… happened: the under-aged pre-drinks in the Tim Horton’s washroom, the sea of girls in crop tops complaining about being frozen (all the while, red flannels converted into belts hung from their waists), the over-use of the word “bro” in the venue lineup, etcetera, etcetera. What I didn’t expect to happen though… also happened.
“I’m on this raised-platform-stage and I’m put on display, but at the same time I’m just a human. I’m just a regular person at the end of the day and, you know, I just want them to know that I do appreciate every single one of them.” – G-Eazy
I loved every second of every performance. For someone who was so iffy about that concert to begin with, I sure walked away singing praise, and lots of it. In case you missed it, I wrote about it here. Within a few hours, I had really fallen in love with G-Eazy’s entire aesthetic. His stage was flawless in that it was so simple. His energy was entirely dedicated to his audience. His hair was combed back perfectly. Even the smallest details (the balloons, for example, which can be seen below) helped the show be as seamless as it was.
Here is the part where I tell you that I owe Kate an apology.
G-Eazy’s album, These Things Happen (download it here), just dropped, and there is absolutely no way you could even think about escaping his name. It seems that every Youtube ad, Instagram picture, tweet and blog post has to do with G-Eazy these days, so from his media push straight through to his content, he has his bases completely covered. G-Eazy has undeniable star power. At risk of completely overdoing it, it seems as though he went 0-100…real quick. (Is any write-up even credible anymore without a Drake reference?) I know he didn’t blow up overnight. G-Eazy’s been at this for a minute, but what I was really curious about is whether or not he knew how capable he was of making people love him, and love him fast. I’d soon find out.
“What’s poppin’? I’m just chilling! I just got back from Europe, you feel me?” he laughed.
Europe. You’d expect that someone who had just hopped off of a plane would have next to no desire to want to carry out any conversation, but despite possible exhaustion and a grueling day of press, this guy had so much energy. I never, even for a second, stopped smiling throughout the entire time we spoke. Just as I had hoped for, G-Eazy was the same likeable character I had seen live four months prior, which only made it that much easier to share his excitement for his new chapter. After all, G-Eazy makes it a point to make you feel like you’re apart of everything he does, which is both rare and admirable. And for the record, I definitely do. Peep the interview after the jump.
Interview conducted by Tia Gordon for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: Your album is dropping next week, so-
G-Eazy: On Monday!
HipHopCanada: Yes! How are you feeling about the big day?
G-Eazy: I feel like I’m on top of the world! It’s an exciting time, I mean, this is a culmination of so much, so it’s fun.
HipHopCanada: Are you nervous at all?
G-Eazy: Hell yeah I’m nervous! [Laughing] I’ve put so much into this album that it’s like, fuckk! I mean, this is me. This is me as an artist, fully vulnerable and fully on display for the world and people are watching now. That’s a trip, you know, because the whole world hasn’t been watching before. USA Today is even reviewing it, that’s wild!
HipHopCanada: Yeah, you’ve come a very long way!
G-Eazy: It’s exciting though! This is what we signed up for.
HipHopCanada: Exactly. Knowing that some people have kind of gotten a taste of the album already through some of the singles you’ve released, what’s the one thing you want people to know about the album when they listen to it in full?
G-Eazy: Uhm, I think there’s a lot of me on the album. And I think some people may or may not have been thrown off with the single selection and the songs I’m choosing to release up until now. I mean, I had to put some of the bangers out! You know? It’s the summertime! You need to hear the record with A$AP Ferg. “I Mean It”- it’s a big anthem, you need to put that one out. But there’s also the really introspective, reflective, honest records on there where I’m just talking about real shit! I think that’s important to make an album, whereas other songs are important to build hype and spread awareness, [and] get people talking. I think the album needs to tell the story of who the artist is and there are a lot of records on there that do that.
HipHopCanada: Right! You’ve got a handful of artists on “These Things Happen” as well, but obviously one of the names that stands out the most is, the legendary, E-40, who’s on “Far Alone” with you.
G-Eazy: Legendary E-40! Uncle Earl! [Laughing]
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] You’ve been repping for The Bay, and this song is essentially about your come-up. What does this song mean to you and how do you feel about getting to tell your story on the same track as someone who’s not only a huge icon, but a representative of where you’re from?
G-Eazy: Well, me and Jay Ant were doing the record initially, and decided on the concept, vibe, and whole direction of it. We both kind of at the same time were like “Yo, how crazy would it be if this record could get to E-40?” It’s almost like nothing bigger than that could be attained, you know? As big as this song could get is if it could get to E-40 and he jumped on it. Just to see that come to fruition is like… it’s f**king crazy! [Laughing] Because it is just that – it’s a record about growing up in The Bay, about listening to him and being inspired by that, wanting to do it myself and wanting to just… put on and represent. And, you know? It’s crazy.
HipHopCanada: I feel as though you’ve got a bunch of different sides to you – especially when it comes to your music or even your performances and I want to talk to you about that.
G-Eazy: Definitely, yeah.
HipHopCanada: What I’ve noticed is that you’re extremely honest, because you’ve got this really amazing autobiographical approach to when it comes to sharing your past, which is cool!
HipHopCanada: You’ve also got this party-side to you, when you’re out stealing dudes’ girls. And then you put forward the really charming side of you, where you kind of make it feel like loving someone is the most important thing in the world – especially when you’re making eye contact with the ladies in the crowd and things like that.
G-Eazy: Yeah! [Laughing] Those are my Cyclops eyes.
HipHopCanada: Pardon me? Your Cyclops eyes? [Laughing]
G-Eazy: [Laughing] Yep!
HipHopCanada: A lot of artists don’t really embrace their emotions or their thoughts and stick to specific subjects, so have you always been able to put all of you into your music like that or was there a longer process behind it?
G-Eazy: I think it’s important to not be one-dimensional with your past – especially with a platform like hip hop – where hip hop is way more wordy than other genres of music in it’s nature. You talk a lot, and I think it’s important to not talk about the same things for 16 tracks on an album. It gets repetitive and boring. With that being said, as important as it is to not be one-dimensional, you can’t force anything or be disingenuous either.
Me, I’m a Gemini, and I don’t really give a f**k about astrology or any [of that] bullshit, but I do know that I have multiple sides to my personality. A record like “Lotta That” with A$AP Ferg is every bit as much me as the more introspective records on the album, you know? I don’t know, I just think it’s important for an album to show every single side of who an artist is. I want to get the full story when I listen to an album, like “Who is he? What does he have to say?”
Uhm…yeah. I forgot where I was going with that.
HipHopCanada: No worries, it makes perfect sense. I also got to check out your show when you were in Toronto on the These Things Happen Tour, and that was probably one of the best performances I’ve seen in very a long time. It was really dope.
G-Eazy: Thank you, I appreciate that.
HipHopCanada: You’re welcome. I notice that when you perform, you really make it a point to look people right in the eye and you reach out [and] high five them…things like that.
HipHopCanada: At the Toronto show, a girl was sitting on someone’s shoulders and you actually motioned for them to move forward so you could hold her hand in the middle of a song. That’s really special! I know it means a lot to your fans, but what does making that connection with your audience mean to you?
G-Eazy: Yeah, well at the end of the day, I’m an artist. I’m on this raised-platform-stage and I’m put on display, but at the same time I’m just a human. I’m just a regular person at the end of the day and, you know, I just want them to know that I do appreciate every single one of them. I think it’s important to connect with the crowd – to perform to the crowd and not at the crowd. I think that’s what some of the best in this business do… is connect with the crowd. The thing is, it’s not a whole lot of effort to just make that connection, but that connection means so much to the fans… or at least it can sometimes. It’s just… I don’t know. I just want to give them that experience and when they come to a show, they feel like they’re apart of it.
HipHopCanada: That’s amazing. You even had a couple of Canadian homies on deck for the tour- specifically out of Toronto like Tory Lanez and Blake Carrington also performed. Do you have a bro-mance with Canada?
G-Eazy: [Laughing] I don’t know! I’m like…a Drake stan, so maybe that’s where it comes from!
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] Well, we definitely need to have you come back very soon.
G-Eazy: I know. Hell yeah!
HipHopCanada: Well, you say it yourself, you’re here now. And now that you’ve been all over North America and you’ve also toured Europe- what have you been able to realize about yourself and your career as a whole? Especially because you really did come up independent and you solidified your position in music on your own.
G-Eazy: [Laughing] It’s just dope! You know, I never take any of this for granted. I just appreciate that music that was made on my own has taken me around the world! That’s an exciting feeling. It’s kind of like a phenomenon, it’s dope, but at the same time, you know, you’ve got to stay hungry. You can’t just be satisfied with wherever you’re at now.
HipHopCanada: If you’re not moving forward, there’s no point.
G-Eazy: Right, exactly.
HipHopCanada: Being in all of these places around the world, what’s your reaction when someone tells you that you’re their favourite rapper?
G-Eazy: Man, this is mind blowing because I’m still a fan of the music. I know what a Nas means to me, or an E-40 means to me, or what a Mac Dre, or a Drake or a Jay-Z or a Dom Kennedy means to me. So it’s like, when kids tell me that my music means that much to them it’s like…you know, it’s crazy? It’s humbling.
HipHopCanada: So what do you have planned after the release of your album?
G-Eazy: Man, drink whiskey into oblivion.
HipHopCanada: [Laughing] So just being happy and drinking?
G-Eazy: [Laughing] You know what, nah. It’s just the beginning. We’re on a crazy press run right now, just a million and one interviews and being everywhere we can. But I don’t know, I was just thinking about this earlier, that I really don’t want this album to be about the day it comes out. I want it to be about…celebrating 10 years since it came out, celebrating 20 years, I want to put something out that leaves a lasting impact. So it’s almost like something you can’t understand what it means right away, and you shouldn’t be able to.
HipHopCanada: That’s exactly how it should be. You’re supposed to look back at it and be like “oh, I get that now.”
G-Eazy: Right, right, right. Big picture.
HipHopCanada: This might be tough, but the last thing before we wrap up…
G-Eazy: Y’all always got the tough ones right at the end! Y’all always do that!
HipHopCanada: You’ve gotta leave it like that though! It’s more fun that way! But just knowing who you are today, everything you’ve done and everything you’re about to do, can you describe yourself in one word? Just one.
G-Eazy: Can I describe myself in one word? Man… epic as f**k! [Laughing] I don’t know. I think at the end of the day…I don’t know. Is “student” the right word? I’m just a student of the game and just hungry, and [I] wanna like, take this shit to the moon.
HipHopCanada: That’s awesome! Do you have anything to say to your Canadian fans?
G-Eazy: Thank you for supporting me and holding me down. I’m from a long way away from where you guys live and the fact that you care about my music is dope! Thank you.
Interview conducted by Tia Gordon for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada would like to thank Sony Music Canada and Julia Scenna for setting up this interview.
Twitter: @G_Eazy | @E40
Tweets by @HipHopCanada