Bay Area rapper makes fame look Eazy

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Bay Area rapper makes fame look Eazy

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By Sara Tucker, Inside Columnist

After almost two years since his debut album, rapper G-Eazy dropped a sophomore album at 12 a.m. this morning, “These Things Happen,” which is currently sitting at #2 on iTunes top albums, behind Ed Sheeran’s “X (Deluxe Edition).”

The independent artist agreed to a phone interview with the News earlier this year when his tour brought him to Boston, and he reported that the record was going well and he was excited for the drop, which had not yet been scheduled. But G-Eazy himself was surprised by the album’s immediate success, with excited posts and photos on social media yesterday and earlier today. “These things f***ing happen,” he posted, and “We’re making history…”

Before the release of “These Things Happen,” G-Eazy worked with artists like Chance the Rapper and Hoodie Allen to get his name out there. But today’s release revealed a more personal style, in which the artist clearly took his own initiative, rather than shooting for collaborations with more well-known artists.

G-Eazy delves into his rise in the album’s first song, “These Things Happen,” with revealing lyrics like “For a while I was going through a nervous patch / Then I had the most insane year of my life / Crazy, ‘cause I only saw the surface scratched.” Much of the record focuses on the work he put in to get to the top, and the difficulties that come with fame. “Far Alone” speaks to those who told him he wouldn’t make it and how he overcame:  “They used to tell me I couldn’t go too far alone / They used to always say I couldn’t go too far alone / But now I’m here b****.”

“Far Alone,” one of the album’s singles, features E-40, another Bay Area rapper, who G-Eazy “grew up on.” He expressed his excitement to work with the artist when he talked to the News in March:  “I just did a song with E-40. I’m really, really excited about that. He jumped on my song, it’s called ‘Far Alone,’ from my new album, and I mean for me that’s like a huge deal. Growing up in the Bay, I idolized E-40 my whole life and being able to do a song with him… It’s just, I mean, collaborating is fun.” But despite working with a rapper who G-Eazy idolized, he didn’t take a backseat, and “Far Alone” does not sacrifice the artist’s style, with subtle backbeats, revealing lyrics and a “cynical, sedated, sinister flow,” according to Rap Genius, who met with the artist earlier this month to verify the lyrics.

The most popular song on the disc to date, “I Mean It,” whose video has scored over a million views on YouTube, repeats the title, which is arguably G-Eazy’s mantra:  “If I ever said I’m scared / Just know I mean it / If I ever said I f***ed your b**** / Just know I mean it / And if I ever said I’m gettin’ money / Just know I mean it / And oh Lord oh Lord knows / He knows I mean it.” The lyrics speak to the artist’s “haters” and his indifference of their opinion, even though they “feel like I’m better dead.”

“Opportunity Cost” is one of the album’s lesser known songs thus far, but is incredibly personal, and speaks to the cost of fame. While many artists sing or rap about the advantages of being at the top, G-Eazy admits that “Me and some of those who’s closest to me haven’t spoken much / Crazy when you learn the cost of blowing up” and “Meanwhile I see some girls I used to know are getting wed and stuff / Having kids with full salary jobs while I’m just getting drunk / Missing every birthday, anniversary / Yesterday my moms got out of surgery / Wasn’t even in town / Shows and after parties what I’ve been ‘round.”

The rapper follows the idea of the sacrifices of fame in another single from the record, “Almost Famous,” when he asks repeatedly “How long does famous last?” and admits that “I’m addicted to this lifestyle, never going back to no basic s***.”

The album features other soon-to-be hits like “Let’s Get Lost” and “Tumblr Girls” that are already making their way up the artist’s top ten “Popular” songs on Spotify.

While “These Things Happen” features a very different sound than G-Eazy’s other releases like “Lady Killers (feat. Hoodie Allen)” (2012) and “Mad (feat. Devon Baldwin)” (2012), the artist is clearly establishing his own signature sound in the rap world that could be detected in one of his first popular singles, “Marilyn (feat. Dominique Lejeune)” (2012).

“These Things Happen” is definitely worth a listen, and the album will pave the way for what could be a huge career for rapper G-Eazy. The release can be streamed on Spotify or downloaded from iTunes for $9.99. For a hard copy, visit Walmart, Best Buy, FYE or Target, where the album is selling for about $12. The artist also updates SoundCloud frequently for those interested in listening to the tracks that paved the way for “These Things Happen,” including two songs that didn’t make the cut for the album, “Monica Lewinsky” and “The Day It All Changed.”

Photo courtesy Jacqueline Lerner, Creative Commons.