"If you don't know by now, you should probably get familiar" with G-Eazy, one of the biggest and rising rap artist in the music industry today. G-Eazy, who introduced himself as Gerald, originally is from the Bay Area and is currently on his These Things Happen Tour with Rockie Fresh as his main supporting opener. 2014 has already kicked off to a great year with the announce of his new album These Things Happens which is set to release later this year and the success of his tour with multiple sold out shows. In addition, he has also released new singles including a remix of "Been On" featuring Rockie Fresh and his visually stunning video for his single "Almost Famous". He has proven himself to be a successful artist and definitely a local favorite. We sat down with G-Eazy before he went on stage for his set at The Catalyst to discuss his music, tour, and success.
HC: What is the most exciting about your tour so far?
G (G-Eazy): Selling out the Fillmore a month out. That’s like… Because when we booked the show, my agent was telling me about how he was negotiating the show and making a deal and he told the promoter: “Look I never been more confident that this show is going to sell out in my life.” When he relayed that message to me all I could think about was: “I hope this sells out” and I was nervous, like “I hope this works.” Then to find out that it sold out well in advance, it was a nice, surprise. Anytime you do a tour, then you do the hometown show… the Bay Area show is more important to me than anything. So for that to do well, it means everything
HC: When you’re back home in the Bay, what is your favorite thing to do?
G: Go to Gordo’s on College Avenue. It’s a great taqueria.
HC: We have one in Aptos, I was just there a few days ago.
G: No way. Is it any good?
HC: Uhm..SOOOO GOOD!
G: It can’t be better than mine in Berkeley. But, I’d give it a try. I love Gordo’s.
HC: In your music, specifically “Almost Famous” and “Been On” you celebrate and talk about your success as a rapper. What is your advice about striving for success or for young artist?
G: Go hard. I mean it sounds so simple, but it’s like…when you are really in love with what you do, you go hard and you work hard at it all the time, and just hustle…then stuff has a way of just falling into place.
HC: Your new album is going to release soon, what can your current and new listeners expect to hear?
G: This album is a huge step forward. Creatively and personally, from the content side to the actual musical side of things. I just think the sound has matured and evolved, it’s much more sophisticated. It’s more interesting I think. You know, I’ve been around the country and I experienced a lot in the last year or two, and I’ve put all that back into the music.
HC: What or who inspires you to write your music?
G: Everything from the Beatles to Tupac to Drake. Pretty much, if I could make a Mount Rushmore of what inspires me…I’m trying to think of who’d be the last one, maybe Johnny Cash. Haha, I think I’d have it show John Lennon, Tupac, Drake and Johnny Cash.
HC: Do you consider yourself to be more of the “Dapper Rapper” or the “Lady Killer”?
G: Haha. I guess that concept is one in the same I suppose. I guess the Lady Killer is more like the villain and the Dapper is more of the good guy. I’m a Gemini and so I would say that there are both sides to the music. There is the evil villain lurking and then there is the golden boy on the other side.
HC: Is there any mantra that you recite that gets you hyped or keeps you motivated?
G: There is this fire that has always been burning inside of me forever. It pushes me to keep going, continuing to want more and never be satisfied, you know. I think that there is ultimately a fear, deep down of just going broke, or not being good enough. You want to keep going hard and challenge yourself to keep going and putting yourself in a better position.
HC: You work with a lot of artist, but who would be your dream collaboration? They can be dead or alive.
G: Kanye. I like worship Kanye, I have a Kanye stand. If I ever had the chance to work with him in the studio, it’ll probably be like the wildest experience ever for me. But who else…John Lennon. It’d be so awesome to get a hook from John Lennon.
HC: What is one of your guiltiest pleasures?
G: Sour candies all day. I put them on each of my contract writers for each show. The way tour works, you get a contract writer for each day and the promoter has to give you everything that’s on that list. So for us, it’ll be a few bottles of whiskey, a case of beer, and a lot of sour candy.
HC: If you can have any super power, what would it be?
G: It’d be so cliché for me to say I’d want to be able to fly so we’ll leave that one alone. But if I could have any super power, it’d be to know exactly what women want all the time.
HC: What are your turn on and offs?
G: I think that it’s really sexy when girls wear the short skirts and the long socks- that school girl look, that’s pretty sexy. Hygiene is pretty big. I mean, if you smell bad, it’s not good.
HC: Would you rather go down in the history books or be famous in your lifetime?
G: Wow, that’s really tough. I mean, of course everybody wants to go down in the history books but you also want that recognition while you’re still here. I think that’s an example of what I think a lot of people struggle with. It’s like you’re so eager for that instant gratification for your work and to be recognized and rightfully so. As a creative or somebody who is trying to do something at a grand scale it’s like you want that recognition. But ultimately, it’s a more important to be understood in the big picture instead rather than the here and now. So I’d want to go down in the history books.
HC: Would you still be doing it, even if you didn’t receive gratification now in your lifetime, but years after?
G: Absolutely. I started this when I was 13 and that was over 10 years ago. And I would say that I am starting to now see the kind of love that I’ve dreamed of forever. So there was a long window where there was no kind of you know… and of course there are those moments that weigh on you. You feel discouraged and you feel like “what am I even doing this for?” especially since no one is paying attention. But at the end of the day, whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish or whatever it is you’re doing, you got to do it because it means something to you. You have to do what it is you love because you love doing it. It always has to be the greatest reward. The rest of the world if they catch on or not, that’s up to them. It’s got to be coming from you.
HC: It has to be part of your identity. I [Zoe] feel like it applies to all creative artists across all fields of art- how they have to be okay with themselves and their work. It’s cool if you make something off of your work, but you know, you have to be okay with what you do.
HC: Is there anything else you’re looking forward to on tour?
G: San Francisco is going to be crazy. Tonight is going to be crazy. Santa Cruz always shows love. Portland! Portland, it’s such a great city- I love the Pacific Northwest. Originally we booked this venue that can hold about 800 people, and when that sold out, the promoter asked us if we wanted to move to another venue, Roseland, it’s a lot bigger- hold about 1400, it is like their famous place to play. I was like: “Hell yeah, f*** it if we don’t sell that out. I’m just so hyped to be able to play there.” And we just sold that out so Portland is going to be crazy too. I love have
HC: Is there some places you want to tour but haven’t yet?
G: Hell yeah! I want to go overseas! I can’t wait to tour the world! Let’s see, I’d start with Europe. I can’t wait for Australia…
HC: What about Japan? I’m [Gigi] from there!
G: I want to go to Japan so fucking badly. I really would want to play there.
HC: Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
G: Thank you.
HC: Any words of wisdom?
G: Go hard. Just keep hustling.
Editor's note: When ever you're back in town, we should get Gordo's together! Don't worry, won't forget the sour candies either.
For more information about his tour and his music, be sure to check his website http://www.g-eazy.com/.
Interview photos taken by Zoe White
Concert photos courtesy of Bobby Bruderle