Post Classifieds

G-Eazy gets real

By DIANA MIRFIQ
On November 1, 2013

  • Gerald Gillum (left), A’11, and Matt Bauerschmidt (right), A’10, talk to a room of Loyola music industry students. On Sept. 16 in Nunemaker Hall, the pair spoke as a part of the music industry program’s weekly forum. ALICIA SERRANO/ The Maroon

Over the past year, Gerald Gillum, A'11, - known in his rap career as "G-Eazy" - toured as the opening act for New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne and performed on "Vans Warped Tour."
But G-Eazy hasn't played in New Orleans in more than a year, and he said that he's ready to perform at the Voodoo Experience at City Park this weekend.
Despite what some might think, G-Eazy said that the "America's Most Wanted" tour with Lil Wayne wasn't what he thought it would be.
"I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but it sucked," he said.
G-Eazy said he was frustrated because he spent the prior year building his brand only to feel as though he had started from the bottom. He said a production manager insulted him once while he was using someone else's fitting room to shower.
"He said 'Aren't you the opener of the opener of the opener's opener?'" G-Eazy said.
G-Eazy said that a positive aspect of the "America's Most Wanted" tour was that he was able to work on his music with the studio setup in the back of the bus, the first time he's been able to work on music while on tour.
"When I was headlining, it was a reason to celebrate every night," G-Eazy said. "We just sold out the El Ray; let's rage. On this one, it was like - well, that sucked, let's write songs and just work."
G-Eazy said that "Vans Warped Tour" had a more positive effect on him. He said it was like a "boot camp" in how to become a touring musician.
"I learned a lot about how to build a following around the music, build a culture, meeting the fans after every show, what merch would sell and what wouldn't, and how to tour," he said.
G-Eazy said that his favorite tour of his rap career this far was his nationwide headlining tour, "It Must be Nice."
"It felt really good to play my show in front of my fans every night, and not trying to win over a tough crowd that's not out there to see me," G-Eazy said.
Overcoming a tough crowd isn't new to G-Eazy. His first performance was at Loyola's Black Student Union talent show his freshman year, and he choked on stage.
"I forgot the words to a song, and I totally messed up my first performance," G-Eazy said.
Matt Bauerschmidt, A'10 and G-Eazy's manager, said that was the first time he saw him perform. G-Eazy joked that somehow Baureschmidt "saw Elvis in that performance."
Uriel Carrasco, music industry senior, said that Baureschmidt got it right by seeing the potential in G-Eazy. Carrasco said he used to cut G-Eazy's hair before he got the slicked-back hairstyle he wears now.
Carrasco said he thinks G-Eazy has a "great" team behind him and thinks highly of Baureschmidt.
"I don't know him personally, but he goes out there and gets it. Managers can make or break you. They play all sorts of roles such as motivator, negotiator, or even psychologist," Carrasco said.
Together, the manager-artist duo has become a powerful force. G-Eazy said he takes pride in having started everything himself, from production, rapping, video content and graphics.
"I used to do it all myself. Now, I've found like-minded designers that understand the style and esthetics that can do it better than I can," G-Eazy said.
He said he was offered some deals from major record companies before and after graduation, but he said he didn't want to forfeit any type of creative control.
"It was gratifying, when you work hard on something. You see it happen by the fan's support, not because of a major label push," G-Eazy said.
Jessica Ortiz, psychology junior, said she is a huge G-Eazy fan. She met him a few times, and he's always been "super chill and nice." She said he doesn't act like he's above his fans.
"I think that's why he is so big," Ortiz said.
G-Eazy said he's determined to continue building his brand.
"My philosophy has always been: If you're going to do it, shoot for the stars. Don't shoot to be a local act playing in small rooms forever," G-Eazy said.
G-Eazy said he someday envisions playing in arenas, but admits that the thought is terrifying.
"The scary thing about arenas is that if you have a really hot year with a bunch of smash songs on the radio, you can do arenas," G-Eazy said. "But if you don't stay hot, you can't go back."
According to G-Eazy's brother James Gillum, music performance junior, arenas aren't G-Eazy's only fear.
"He's deathly afraid of pigeons. If you're walking down the sidewalk and there's a pigeon, he'll walk to the other side," Gillum said. "I think it's hilarious."
G-Eazy plays the Ritual Stage at The Voodoo Experience at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3.

Diana Mirfiq can be reached at dnmirfiq@loyno.edu 


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