“I usually hate G-Eazy but I love this song.”
That’s what I used to say whenever I heard a G-Eazy song. Even though every time I heard “Him & I” or “No Limit” creep out of my radio speakers I'd fervently crank up the volume knob like my mother’s life depended on it.
I used to say, “G-Eazy only makes music for obnoxious white dudes who party too much and dress like douchebags.” Then I realized I was describing myself.
I had been hating on the 28-year-old superstar for no reason, never actually giving his music a real chance. I had written him off as an annoying “bro,” shoving him under the umbrella of shallow frat rap despite barely knowing anything about him. I was jumping to conclusions quicker than my crazy ex-girlfriend noticing I liked another girl's selfie.
Why? I have no idea.
Maybe it’s the leather jacket and the slicked-back hair; he looks like Fonzie's younger brother who sells Percocet outside of middle schools. Maybe it’s the fact that the name “G-Eazy” is too close to “Jeezy” which is confusing for America. Or maybe, it’s because he’s freakishly tall and I was overtaken by Short Guy Rage™️.
Hater culture is pretentious but it consumes us. As a rap fan, there are certain “corny” rappers that you’re legally required to hate. Logic and Russ both immediately come to mind. I once said something positive about Russ on Twitter and woke up with a decapitated horse head in my bed.
A few months ago, I was on my way to a stand-up show with my best friend/opener. It was a long drive so were taking turns with the aux cord, playing pump-up jams to get ready to hit the stage and tell some forgettable dick jokes. She played a G-Eazy song called “Rebel” and it intoxicated my mind.
Then I had an epiphany. Also, I just learned the word “epiphany” and I wanted an excuse to use it.
I realized that I had never heard a G-Eazy song that I hated. “Me, Myself & I”? Loved it. “Sober”? Loved it. His verse on “FDT Pt. 2”? Loved it. So I “hate” a musician but I love all his songs? What kind of stupid-ass M. Night Shyamalan twist is this?
I had no real reason to hate him. He’s not Chris Brown or R. Kelly—it’s not like he has any scandals that force me to ask myself if I can “separate the art from the artist.” (I probably just jinxed it, though. Tomorrow we’re gonna find out that G-Eazy was the Zodiac Killer.)
So I dug deeper into his music, starting with his most recent album release, 2017's The Beautiful & Damned. Named after an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel about people enjoying the roaring '20s right before the Great Depression hit, the album is permeated with themes of dealing with the seductive excesses of rising fame. On “Pray For Me,” he acknowledges falling into the trap of the nonstop booze, narcotics and anonymous ham slamming that comes with success in Hollywood.
"Talk to the man upstairs. Hoping he answers my prayers / Hollywood feels like the jungle. Lions, and tigers, and bears." —"Pray For Me"
The album also juggles ideas of partying but wondering if your darkest instincts will take things too far. This internal struggle defines a lot of the album. And luckily for G-Eazy, drinking and wondering if my life is spiraling out of control are my two favorite hobbies.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. G-Eazy has great pre-game music for when you endure Fireball shots at home before you go club-hopping with the crew to drunkenly spit game at uninterested women.
I can't front, I love it; the album has been on constant rotation. So like the expert music nerd I am, I spent hours digging into his older songs and I kept finding gems. “Let’s Get Lost” is a mellow journey into the type of nights we look back on fondly. “Calm Down” pumps me up. Much like a Transformers movie or hardcore pornography, it’s best enjoyed at full volume.
I used to think that God invented G-Eazy to make me hate Macklemore less. But consider me a supporter now. In fact, I recently sat my friends and family down and came out to them as a G-Eazy fan.
A lot of us pre-judge artists before we actually give them a chance. It’s an unhealthy habit, like smoking cigarettes or reading Drew Landry articles. A dude who I wrote off as a cheesy Backstreet Boys reject is actually a phenomenal musician who can rap his ass off.
Never judge a book by its cover. Even when that book is a white dude with slicked back hair and a leather jacket.