June 23, 2016

Me, Myself & G-Eazy

The G-Eazy starter pack – all black, baby

             Concerts and the kindness of strangeness – these two things tend to be mutually exclusive in my experience. I had come to the conclusion that I, at the ripe old age of 22, am too old for concerts. I don’t like the fangirls who drown out the actual music with their warbled screams (ages 14 and up says it all), the pushing and shoving in the throes of mosh pit pandemonium, or the inevitable spillage of drinks – on me. Yet, there I found myself in Electric Brixton attending the best concert I have ever been to (I make no exaggeration) and the crowd was accommodatingly nice, which consequently put me in the best seat (well, standing position) in the house to watch G-Eazy perform. Allow me to explain.

             
I arrived at Electric Brixton in an electric car (it’s a long story), just in time to catch the tail end of ILOVEMAKONNEN’s opening act. Marc E. Bassy, who is featured on the song “Some Kind of Drug” from G-Eazy’s new album When It’s Dark Out, had been the first to perform. I thought securing a good spot would be futile. I had succumbed to the notion that this concert would be like all others, with me merely trying to survive the experience, let alone enjoy it. My friend and I were standing behind the sound booth near the back, almost pushed up against the bar, that place where all the “old” people hang out.

           
 Suddenly, two really tall guys (another thing that ruins concerts for my small, even in heels, self) stepped up on the elevated ledge in front of us, which I thought must be a no-go zone due to its proximity to the staff. I was this close to getting in touch with my ugly American side and tapping them on the shoulder, when suddenly, they turned around, took pity on us, and offered us their spots! Thus, we procured the best possible place to watch the concert (as the photos reveal), our own little dance platform with no one blocking our view, looking directly at the center of the stage.

             
Born under the name Gerald Earl Gillum, G-Eazy has been in the rap game for a while now, but he’s recently garnered even more fame with his single “Me, Myself & I,” in collaboration with Bebe Rexha. He’s previously released several mixtapes and albums Must Be Nice and These Things Happen. The “When It’s Dark Out” tour is his second world tour after his “From the Bay to the Universe” tour in 2014, referring to his hometown of Oakland in the Bay Area of California.  
Bebe Rexha made a surprise appearance for "Me, Myself & I"
             I’m being a bit of a tease here, because I am describing a concert that has been and gone. G-Eazy spent three nights performing in London in May and he is currently continuing his tour in the United States. However, it was honestly too good not to write about. Surprise guests shared the stage in the form of Danny Seth, Marc E. Bassy, ILOVEMAKONNEN, and Bebe Rexha. With an impressive 22-track set list (which is now in my possession as seen in the above photo) and the man himself possessing sex appeal so raw that those 14-year-olds probably had some sort of awakening (much to their “parental guardian’s” horror), G-Eazy made a fangirl out of me that night.

         
   He rocked up on stage wearing sunglasses, his trademark leather jacket, and all black everything, like the suave, well-dressed man that he is. He never had a hair out of place, a modern-day Greaser, even when he tried to mess up his slicked back look by rumpling it. The man was smooth. He told us that it had recently been his birthday (May 24th), three days prior to the night I saw him live. The crowd erupted into singing “Happy Birthday” and I felt like I was part of one big ongoing celebration for him, and he was grateful for it, honored to be spending it with us, as we were with him.

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"Because me, myself & I are worth it"
             G-Eazy didn’t just rap the night away, but he also engaged with his fans and talked to us, exuding charisma and a humble nature. Each time he spoke, he always tied it into the title, or lyrics, of his next song. Right before “For This,” he earnestly looked at us and said it before rapping it: “I waited all my life for this.” He continued to tell us that London always makes him feel welcome and that it’s home to some of the most beautiful girls in the world. He probably says this in every city that he performs in, but in that moment, it didn’t matter. We believed him.

             
Cue the girls in attendance batting their eyelashes and wiggling their fingers at him, and who could blame them (or me). It’s all part of his act, of his appealing stage persona. Just like the lyrics in “Random,” he raps, “Got it all, yeah I’m young, rich, and handsome.” Yes, yes, and yes. Or, tall, dark, and handsome – take your pick.

             
I almost lost it when I heard the beat of my favorite rap, “Loaded” (from Must Be Nice), lining up. I screamed the lyrics, “She kept saying, ‘G-Eazy is her favorite rapper’” with all the conviction in the world, because of course, it’s true. If I was jumping, dancing, and swinging my hands in the air the whole time, I don't know how G-Eazy managed it. I was there rapping along with the best of them and if I was tired, he certainly was. Just like the lyrics from “I Like Tuh” with ILOVEMAKONNEN suggested, “I got the white girl twerkin’,” and oh boy, did I. Or, I at least tried.
             As the concert neared its end, we went through the usual charade of wondering whether another song would be played after G-Eazy made his exit, but of course one was (several in fact), because of course we wanted more. Nothing can quite compare to the buzzing, pulsating beats at a live rap concert. It has made headphone listening an utter disappointment from here on out. 

             Confetti rained down on us like it was "rack, rack city," and after previously stripping down to his wife beater, G-Eazy was suddenly there without his shirt on. On the car ride home, my friend and I were bouncing off each other, twittering, “I’m sorry, am I fangirling? I’m fangirling. I’ll stop – or not.” Somewhere in the midst of the evening (and through the faint circling aroma of weed), I gained clarity. Perhaps I’m not too old for concerts after all. Thanks, Gerald.

             Listen to G-Eazy for free on SoundCloud.

I spy...an errant piece of confetti


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