G-Eazy’s Album When It’s Dark Out Is A New Classic

When It's Dark Out album cover courtesy of g-eazy.com
G-Eazy When It’s Dark Out album cover

When It’s Dark Out opens with a statement as soon as G-Eazy utters the lines, “Do not go gentle into that good night.  Rage… Rage…”  

Review by: Taylor Kelly

G-Eazy wants to emphatically let everyone know, he is here to stay and he will not go away gently. Some people may have figured that he would just fade away after his 2014 major-label debut These Things Happen.  

This record is his rebuttal to all of the initial hate that he received and embracement to stay true to yourself, your family and your fans.  This a cohesively dark yet optimistic record that simultaneously reminds you that although G-Eazy has arrived, Gerald is still struggling with his demons.

If you recognize the opening line to the album from above, it’s because G-Eazy is reciting lines from Welsh writer, Dylan Thomas’s most popular poem.  These same lines were also recently revived in one scene of the movie Interstellar as Matthew Mcconaughey’s character prepares to embark on a solo expedition into the black abyss of space.  

Although G-Eazy doesn’t have Hans Zimmer on production like the minds behind Interstellar did, he still manages to use similar dark synths to open his album in a way that gives the listener a similar feeling to what I could imagine Mcconaughey’s character felt as he prepared to leave the world he knows behind.  G-Eazy seems to draw a lot of dark inspiration from cinema throughout the album, which helps to provide a visual aspect that is unique to this project.  You can almost imagine G-Eazy himself staring off into a void of blackness, totally unsure of what lies ahead but knowing that if he wants to keep moving forward, this is the path he must take.

After he uses the intro to provide a mantra for the album, G-Eazy takes the next couple of tracks to let you know that in his introverted world, he is in control. In “Random” he aggressively attacks the idea that he lucked into his spot in the rap game as he spits “Pay attention, none of this is happening by accident. Listen, I don’t slack a bit. Game plan’s solid, no cracks in it” and again on Me, Myself, & I as he raps “This sh*t is lovely. This sh*t ain’t random. I didn’t get lucky.”  From the jump-off he wants you to know that he paid his dues, and he wants his credit.

As the album progresses, tracks like One of Them (ft. Big Sean) and Drifting (ft. Chris Brown and Tory Lanez) make it apparent that G-Eazy is playing on a different level than he was before.  He looks to people like Big Sean and Chris Brown as peers now.  Like many artists do on their pressure-filled sophomore album, G-Eazy taps some big names as features, including Too $hort, E-40, and Kehlani. But instead of accepting the idea that these bigger artists are there to lug his album along, G-Eazy uses their presence on his album as an opportunity to prove himself.  And actually some of his best flows emerge on these tracks – as if he is elevating his skill to their level in an attempt to prove that he can go toe to toe with anyone. This may be when he is at his best.

If there is one track that embodies the overarching feeling that I got while listening to this album it’s Sad Boy.  G-Eazy pens a heartfelt letter to Gerald, a character that he hadn’t introduced us to yet. If you’re a G-Eazy fan, you probably already know that G-Eazy’s real name is Gerald Earl Gillium. G-Eazy uses this track to confront that neglected, softer side of his personality that you subtly pick up on in so many other songs. It reminds me a lot of the relationship Tyler Durden has with Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club.  At one point in the song G-Eazy commands an answer from Gerald as he questions “Gerald, what you so sad for? Man stop acting like a b*tch. Forgot you’re all famous now and rich?”

If there is an antonym of the term alter-ego, that is what he introduces us to in this song. G-Eazy utilizes the bravado and alpha-dog attitude that we are so used to hearing in rap to bully and confront Gerald.  As he continues to teeter between G-Eazy and Gerald we are left wondering who this Gemini artist really is.

Is he just a Sad Boy from the bay that puts on the bravado so that he can hold his own in a hyper competitive rap game, or has G-Easy fully come into his own as a star who is just struggling to step out of the shadows and shake the empty feeling that his new life has left him with?  Regardless of his internal struggles, G-Eazy sheds light when it’s dark out and deserves to be atop the hip-hop world with this new classic.   

5 out of 5 Guitars 

G-Eazy – When It’s Dark Out is AVAILABLE on iTunes

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