Review: G-Eazy – When It’s Dark Out

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80%
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Intense

With this album placing him firmly on the map, G-Eazy is here to stay.

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Gerald Earl Gillium, otherwise known as G-Eazy is a 26 year old hip-hop and rap artist from Oakland, California. His previous releases include the major-label debut album These Things Happen released last year as well as his earlier ventures such as the 2011 mixtapes The Outsider and The Endless Summer. Whichever way you look at it, the hype surrounding When It’s Dark Out is sure to put Young Gerald on the map; with collaborations including the likes of Chris Brown, E-40 and Big Sean it’s clear that the famous “in a year I went from overlooked to overbooked” line from ‘Sad Boy’ is no understatement.

The first thing you experience on When It’s Dark Out, is a one minute long introduction creating a build-up of tension like no other. The phrase “Do not go gentle into that good night” is repeated aggressively, almost as if the listener is being initiated into some form of G-Eazy cult. It’s layered with a backdrop of sounds reminiscent of a horror movie opening scene, and sets a dark, yet imperative atmosphere.

‘Random’ takes us straight into the gritty, ‘IDGAF’ nature of G-Eazy with no training wheels. Subtlety is out the window while the track enforces the simple facts – according to Gerald – that he is in fact young, rich and handsome through no coincidence besides his own hard work and dedication. With its up-beat tempo and killer lyrics it’s one for the gym playlist, and a self-confidence boosting anthem for the ages.

‘Me, Myself & I’ is one of the album’s first official singles, and features the soulful voice of Bebe Rexha. It tells the story of determination, and as a prerequisite on any G-Eazy track, enforces the plain simple fact that he relies on nobody but himself to cultivate his success, and will continue to do so.

Another massive collaboration of this record is entitled ‘Drifting’ and features Chris Brown and Tory Lanez. It’s one of the more R&B tracks and exposes a much softer side to G-Eazy, creating a massive juxtaposition from the remainder of the album with the exception of collaboration number 9 ‘Everything Will Be OK’ featuring the up-and-coming R&B superstar Kehlani. This track delves deep into the soul of G-Eazy and strikes a relatively personal chord within him as it details of his mother’s separation from his father and the less conventional relationship that followed whilst also acting like a letter to his younger brother James in the hopes of resolving their childhood conflicts.

In the interest of personal reflection, one of the most noticeably reflective tracks from When It’s Dark Out is called Sad Boy in which G-Eazy is found questioning himself and his true emotions in retrospect of all this newfound success, potentially influenced by Drake’s ‘The Resistance’. It’s arguably one of the turning points of the album, one displaying a sense of growth and maturity in terms of the evolution that is G-Eazy.

However, it’s not all sadness and personal inner conflicts, the album contains a certain number of less intense tracks such as ‘Some Kind Of Drugs’, ‘You Got Me’ and ‘Calm Down’ which revert back to the confident “black on black with hair slicked back” Gerald we all know and love. These tracks, along with ‘What If’, explicitly display Drake’s influence on G-Eazy’s sound as he’s found making references to recent tracks such as the Drake and Future collab ‘F*** Up Some Commas’.

Having been an avid G-Eazy fan since the days of The Outsider, it’s clear to see that his music has undergone an evolution to create a much fuller, distinctive and even more confident (as if that were possible) sound. Being the follow up from the more elusive These Things Happen, When It’s Dark Out is tougher, deeper and vastly more mature whilst still managing to retain that personal touch that his previous album carried so well.

It appears the Oakland rapper has found his sound, and doesn’t plan on keeping it at bay any longer. With this album placing him firmly on the map, G-Eazy is here to stay.

When It’s Dark Out is out now via RCA Records.

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Head of Relations for The Edge and Fashion Marketing student at Southampton University. P.S. I tweet - a lot (@naviwbu)

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