It doesn’t take much to figure out why G-Eazy is the Bay Area’s favorite rapper and of course Teen Diaries for that matter. On a Tuesday night on January 20th, hundreds of anxious fans could be seen jam-packed outside of DC’s elite venue the 9:30 Club, waiting for doors to open. The night was young, just like many of the concert attendees waiting eagerly to see what G-Eazy would be bringing to the stage at his SOLD OUT show. And might we add, that the Bay Area rapper brought nothing but heat! Once doors opened, fans assembled in front of the stage, while others rushed in with passes for a special VIP meet and greet.
Before G-Eazy made his full-fledged appearance on stage, the opening acts: Kool John, Kehlani, and Jay Ant made sure audience members were properly amped up for the headlining act. After brief sets from the openers, the concert lights dimmed, and a countdown clock appeared on screen as fans loudly chanted along as the timer counted down. Once the timer struck zero, it’s safe to say that the Loyola graduate had the crowd going up on a Tuesday night as he made his highly anticipated debut.
Midway through the show, G-Eazy brought out DMV’s very own, Shy Glizzy for a special performance of the rap artist’s popular hit “Awwsome.” The crowd went crazy, of course … but that wasn’t all. As if that wasn’t enough of a surprise for fans, the Oakland rapper also brought out DMV’s new artist on the rise Gold Link to perform his “Indian Flute” sampled track “Wassup.” It’s safe to say that the From The Bay To The Universe Tour kept a steady momentum of bass-knocking beats and fan favorites concluded with nothing better than an explosion of white confetti over the audience – ending things on nothing less than a boring note.
Lucky enough for you, we got a chance to meet up with the 25-year-old to find out more about what makes Gerald Gillum, the rap artist we know as G-Eazy. Check out our exclusive interview below, and be sure to catch him on his next tour stop in a city near you!
Many artists are proud to say that they dropped out of college to find success, but how does it feel to be a college graduate who is making huge strides in Hip Hop?
I was never really big on school. It’s not like I was a great student who got great grades or anything like that. I was always sidetracked; it was tough for me to focus on school. I found music at an early age, and that’s all I really cared about or wanted to do. So, going to school was something that my grandmother and mother insisted, pushed me to do. They raised me, they did a lot for me growing up, and I knew it meant something to them. It was a way to give back in a sense.
How has having a college degree helped you navigate this tough industry?
Well, I met a lot of people in college that I work with still today. I met my management there. I met Tyler Yee, who shot a bunch of my music videos. I think the people you meet and gain inspiration from is the most valuable part of the whole experience. I was meeting other like-minded entrepreneurs, who were young and trying to get it, as well.
During your 10-year musical journey, what life lesson has taught you the most?
Just staying true to yourself, and keeping your close friends around you. That’s what keeps me level headed. I get to work with my best friends everyday. I think if I was just working with strangers and a crew of all new faces, it’d be easier to kind of lose yourself. Marty’s known me since I was wearing big a** jeans, he used to help me talk to girls. That’s how you stay true to yourself, is by choosing who you surround yourself with.
It’s been projected that 2015 is going to be an amazing year for music, especially hip-hop. Do you agree?
It’s exciting. If it’s a year where you get a Drake album, a Kanye album, and hopefully an album from Gerald … then that sounds cool.
What are you looking forward to the most about this year in music/hip-hop?
Drake and Kanye. Those are my two favorites, two of my idols, two of my biggest inspirations. I am and always will be a fan, no matter what happens or hope to achieve in my career. I’m still a fan of the music; I appreciate music just like anybody else.
What are your goals for 2015?
We want to build on everything we did this year. I feel like we got on base this year. We surprised a lot of people; no one really saw this album coming and when it did those first week numbers, it was like oh okay, what’s going on here. Now, they know what to expect. Now that’s when you really got to hit them over the head. It’s just a blessing to be on base and have a platform and opportunity, so we want to make the most of that.
How does it feel to be performing here in DC, at yet another sold out show?
This one’s special, because I know this club is so iconic. We’ve been hearing about it. As soon as we booked the tour, everybody was like you have to play here. This is a super dope place, everybody talks about this spot. I’ve been looking forward to it, I just went out and watched apart of Kool John’s set, and the crowd was going crazy … so tonight should be fun.
What influences your look? I see you have the Jordan 1’s on, leather jacket, slick back hair, and I know you wear shades too.
I can put them on if you like. My look is real simple, actually. It’s very straightforward. Black jeans, black t-shirt, and my very favorite leather jacket. Jordan 1’s, 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s are my favorite Jordan’s. I’ve always been into Jordan’s and Air Force One’s, so that’s what you see me wear to this day. Having a uniform, wearing the same thing almost everyday, just wearing all black makes it easier to get up in the morning. One less decision, I have to make. We’ve all adopted it as a team, as a uniform. We’re a group of super villains all dressed in black.
What are five essentials that you have to have with you at all times?
My two phones. My favorite pair of Jordan’s, my Jordan 1’s. Oh shoot, I need a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, I also need a jacket, so I’m going to eliminate one of my phones. And I’m going to go ahead and say my leather jacket. My phone is what I use, that’s my tool, I write my verses on there, I do all my emails on there. So, those are weapons of choice.
Lastly, to end on a fun note, who’s your celebrity crush?
Rihanna. She’s the baddest, she’s a goddess.
Photo Credit: Bobby Bruderle | @bobbybphoto