Berkeley-bred rapper G-Eazy on the brink of fame

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“From a BART train to a tour bus / Still the same game except I’m pulling more sluts / More butts, more bucks never giving more fucks,” raps Oakland-born MC G-Eazy in “Far Alone,” the second track from his new album, These Things Happen. This sets the tone for the rest of the album; G-Eazy can’t help but tell listeners about his new life, teetering on the edge of stardom and fame and about to cross the finish line. And these claims aren’t unfounded. They’re borderline obvious: The rapper has sold out venues and has nearly 177,000 followers on Twitter, as well as millions of hits on YouTube for his music videos, all without the support of a major label.

Although the lyrical content can seem repetitive and at some points even unoriginal, there are points throughout the album that highlight G’s storytelling ability. In “Downtown Love,” he weaves a spectacular love story about a “beautiful, outgoing, alcoholic socialite” who was the Edie Sedgwick to his Bob Dylan. The beats are derivative of Kanye West’s Yeezus, while the chorus, sung by John Michael Rouchell, adds a somber element to the song that work together to make it one of the best songs on the album.

What These Things Happen lacks in lyrical originality it makes up for with its diverse production. The album showcases beats that feel like a combination between smooth R&B melodies and electronic synthpop in songs like “Remember You” and “Complete.” The effect of this peculiar sound is most apparent in “Let’s Get Lost,” where former American Idol contestant Devon Baldwin’s saccharine vocals, G’s mellow flow and the hypnotic tempo mix with one another to create a captivating vibe.

These Things Happen marks a shift from the ’60s sound in his freshman album Must Be Nice to something slightly more mainstream and marketable. But make no mistake, G-Eazy is still as good as he ever was.

G-Eazy will be at Rasputin Music on Telegraph Ave. today at 3 pm to sign copies of These Things Happen. 

Contact Josh Gu at [email protected].