G-Eazy drops new album
Published: Thursday, April 17, 2008
Updated: Sunday, December 14, 2008 00:12
While his fashion sense certainly won't be featured on the pages of GQ anytime soon, Oakland native and Loyola freshman G-Eazy assuredly draws attention to himself. Sporting oversized shirts, a massive fool's gold chain and exaggerated black-rimmed glasses without lenses, everything about the rapper's style is flashy, ridiculous and hyperbolic. He is the Las Vegas of the hip-hop world - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
G-Eazy, who is generally known to his professors as Gerald Gillum, recently released his first single "Fresh" and received recognition through the corresponding music video posted on YouTube. "Fresh EP," G-Eazy's first studio album, was originally going to debut later this month, but was pushed up to April 20 at the request of the artist so that the release would coincide with 4/20, the unofficial holiday for cannabis culture.
The album begins with an intro track explaining how G-Eazy, music industry studies freshman, went blind and visited Tha Slap Doctor, who instructed him to pop the lenses out of a pair of glasses and put them on. After resisting, G-Eazy complied and placed the lensless "goggles" on, claiming, "I can see!" While Christians believe that Jesus Christ walked across water and did something with fish and bread or whatever, Tha Slap Doctor proves to be the real deal-a miracle worker.
After this track, however, it seems like the doctor is out and that G-Eazy's miracle goggles aren't providing him with the clarity that they once did. On "She's Boppin" and "This N' That," G- Eazy expresses what he expects from a woman in a relationship. "I need a bopper, not a wife/ She loves to pipe, that's how I know she's boppin'," he says. Each one conveys a sense of misogyny, and is strikingly reminiscent of early '90s hip-hop chart toppers. "She's Boppin'" in particular seems to borrow beats and even a few lyrics from Run-DMC's "Tricky."
While "Boombox" and "18 Dummy in a Parking Lot" are equally ridiculous "Nobody" is a significant improvement. In "Boombox" and "Dummy" G-Eazy waxes not so intelligently about sound systems and school yard fights, sounding like a conceited child, even referencing Pokemon in the latter. "Nobody" is more successful particularly because of featured artist Riva, who channels early Mya with soulful vocals and a dynamic range. Although the song continues G_Eazy's worn theme of conceit, the music is actually good enough to make the listener disregard the song's flaws.
On "Allegiance," G-Eazy claims "We back b----," and it's almost impossible not to agree with him. The track is an honest and passionate declaration to G-Eazy's true love: not one of his "bops," but California. The track comes across as sincere and the effort involved is evident.
The title track reiterates what G-Eazy purports throughout the entire album - that he is indeed fresh. While some people require musk, deodorant or cleansing products, G-Eazy doesn't "need a Ziplock to stay fresh." At least for this track, that's true. The track is silly, and it seems as if he intended for it to be that way. However, he seems so determined to validate his freshness, at one point claiming that, "If someone said they fresher than me, they're lying," one must wonder if he's actually trying to convince himself.
While standing alone, tracks like "Fresh," "Nobody," "Allegiance" and "Gettin Mine" are clever, hip and interesting, the other tracks on "Fresh EP" aren't nearly of the same caliber. Some even beg the question, "Is he kidding with this?" When listened to in it's entirety, "Fresh EP" seems repetitive, with the same concepts of Cartier frames, marijuana, bops, freshness and stunning overconfidence appearing throughout almost every track. It's clear that G-Eazy is talented, but the "pimps n' hoes" concept has been done and seems a little forced.
Unfortunately, G-Eazy's new EP needs to freshen up a little.
Justin Templet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.