The rapper and songwriter is actually a Loyola University New Orleans class of 2011 alum, where he majored in music industry studies. He first started producing music as a solo artist during sophomore year of college, producing a mixture of EPs, mixtapes and singles.
His ambition and talent was recognized quickly, touring with Drake and Lil’ Wayne and earning the title of the “James Dean of Rap.” His 2014 album Must Be Nice hit No. 3 on the iTunes Hip-Hop Chart and No. 10 on Billboard Heatseekers Chart.
The Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake St.) resembled a touched-up industrial warehouse, and the atmosphere was similar to a typical college party. The audience was packed with people that seemed to be in their late teens and early 20s. Fans ranged from young women with their boyfriends to packs of guys in bro tanks and Ray-Bans.
The show opened up with solo artist Kurt Rockmore, who proved to be the perfect entertainment for a group of college kids. He told the crowd that it was his job to get the place “turnt.” He then took several swigs from a fifth of vodka and performed a few short rap songs. After dumping some vodka into the crowd, he strapped a GoPro to his head and crowd surfed through the venue.
Next, Rockie Fresh came on set — a solo rapper and Chicago native. He had a very relaxed, alternative vibe to his songs, and seemed to have a unique connection with the crowd, since he is from Chicago. He performed about half a dozen songs, including his popular single “God is Great.”
After the prolonged build-up of energy, the crowd went wild when G-Eazy finally strutted on the stage. He was dressed with class — all black, sunglasses, a gold chain and his hair slicked back. He opened with “Far Alone,” which is his catchy hit single, released last year. Everyone in the crowd had both hands in the air, screaming and jumping to the beat.
G’s shameless and clever “I-do-what-I-want” attitude was present in his performance and lyrics. He frequently raps about girls, his pride and the party lifestyle with a unique charisma: “Yea, she know; love me cause my ego / Girls and the drugs always follow us where we go.” But G also raps about heartbreak and self-reflection: “You and I are made of glass / we weren’t meant to last,” and “We are trying to sprout a money tree we started with such a little seed.” Regardless of the lyrics, he always matches each track with a catchy and alternative beat.
G-Eazy has an extremely strong stage presence that carried through in his every movement and gesture. The audience was thrilled, especially the young women. At one point he even called out a few women in the front row, calling them gorgeous and typing his number into one woman’s phone.
It was clear that many people in the audience were there for the party lifestyle that G-Eazy promotes in many of his songs. However, I am more drawn to the tracks where G-Eazy expresses himself on a deeper level. It seems that there are so many contemporary rappers talking about the same thing, just with different words. G-Eazy seems to have the wit and awareness to bring new thoughts and new insights, if he were to focus a bit more on finding more unique topics to rap about.
This is why I thought his performance “Marilyn” was the strongest piece of the show. His raw reflections on a failed relationship are bittersweet and show his clever insights with lyrics such as, “I wish we could just pretend to be like we always were before as happy as the Kennedy’s / No one told Jackie about Marilyn’s tendencies.”
G-Eazy told the audience that he is working on a new album to be released soon, which hewants to make “perfect.” With G’s ambition and charm, I have no doubt that he will continue to rise to the top and sell out shows.