G-Eazy • These Things Happen • Blueprint/G-Eazy • US Release Date: June 23, 2014
Throughout album These Things Happen, Bay-area rapper G-Eazy can be described as cocky and confident. From the onset, G-Eazy comes out swinging, establishing that he’s “the man.” Sure, he comes off arrogant at times given his swagger, but he also always conveys a passion, hunger, and drive for pursuing his dreams that’s respectable.
While These Things Happen is filled with analyzable lyrics, the album itself is also easily summarized. Generally, These Things Happen encompasses money, fame, and hooking up. On title track “These Things Will Happen,” Eazy is quick to express his come-up: “Party in the penthouse, until I pass the f*ck out / reminiscing being broke and hoping and hoping I would luck out / nowadays I pull hos, swinging never struck out / reinvested everything just trying to get a buck out.”
The swagger about G-Eazy continues on “Far Alone (Remix),” featuring Jay Ant on the hook and E-40 guesting on the second verse. “From the BART train to a tour bus / still the same game except I’m pulling more sluts / more butts, more bucks, never giving more f*cks,” Eazy spits on verse three. Eazy has a moment of admiration, referencing growing up being a fan of E-40 (and Mac Dre), the same rapper now appearing on his track.
On single “I Mean It,” the sound is darker and Eazy’s tone filled with authority. “If I say sh*t then I mean it / she calls me, I screen it, I’m only f*ckin’ if it’s convenient / you lie on p***y, that’s weak sh*t / we pass p***y ‘round, that’s G-sh*t.” Throughout his ballsy rhymes, Eazy goes on to throw in the obligatory ‘doing your girlfriend’ line, since he’s that awesome…
An interlude precedes “Opportunity Cost,” a track where G-Eazy jumps right in: “Everything costs something bro / winning somewhere, somewhere else you just lost something though.” With a mellow, Drake-like vibe, “Opportunity Cost” stands out. The unbroken flow on this hook-less cut works soundly. That fearless confidence remains a fixture, as G-Eazy eats-it-up on rhymes like “…dreamed since I was just a baby / now I’m here it’s ‘f*ck you, pay me.’
The “lifestyle” has G-Eazy hooked on “Almost Famous,” so much so he doesn’t plan to go back to his un-famous days. Like “Opportunity Cost,” he extends his tale of ‘coming up,’ not without a shallow reference or two.
“Lotta That” is among the best, in gangsta rap fashion. This joint finds Eazy and guests ASAP Ferg and Danny Seth going H.A.M. G-Eazy brags, “Yeah I got a lot of checks and yeah I have a lot of sex / and labels know I got up next / yeah she knows she got the best…” ASAP Ferg naturally tears it up (“Ah, I just sh*tted on you / probably licking your honey like Winnie the Pooh…”) while Danny Seth out threatens (“F*ck boy talking out of turn / my brothers leave you sleeping in an urn”).
Skit “Factory Girl” foreshadows “Downtown Love,” the first of a series of love/sex- oriented cuts. Essentially on “Downtown Love,” G-Eazy details a relationship that was based more on money (materialism), and sex than a dedicated, legitimate relationship. John Michael Rouchell delivers sensational vocals on the hook, singing, “Downtown love / don’t want none of your downtown love…just wonderin’ if you notice me.” A switch-up on the third verse is a thoughtful contrast.
“Complete” continues G-Eazy’s love tangent, though doesn’t quite achieve the level of quality of “Downtown Love.” The tone is more genuine than “Downtown Love,” as G-Eazy wants to ‘love’: “Soon as I get right I’mma take care of you / swear I’m so prepared to love you.” Again, “Let’s Get Lost” confirms G-Eazy’s lustfulness. This translates through rhymes like “Moaning is how I wanna make you sound / can’t wait until I get you home / …I wanna take you now…” or “… I’m not looking for love, I’m just looking for sex.” It’s an interesting ‘back and forth’ with Eazy whether it’s about a genuine relationship or meaningless, shallow pleasure.
For the millionth time, love crosses Eazy on “Shoot Me Down,” finding the MC once more: “But that sh*t love can make you blind to a lot of sh*t.” After such ‘profundity,’ “Been On” breaks away from the exhaustion of love/sex, with G-Eazy trying to reclaim his cool and swagger. “Been On” isn’t bad, but being track 13, it feels as if Eazy has already, “been there, done that” previously.
“Remember You” once more revisits a relationship, incorporating the emotional and physical aspects of it. Ultimately, G-Eazy seems to come to the realization that it is the emotional commitment that is more important than merely hooking up. ‘Course the enjoyable, though silly “Tumblr Girls” writes off any maturing Eazy has done. But once more the MC redeems himself on closer “Just Believe,” where Eazy is his ‘realest’ of the album.
How does These Things Happen stack up? Ultimately, it is an enjoyable album with some great moments. That said, G-Eazy comes off a bit overconfident and oversexed at times. A stretch of songs near the end of the album prior to “Tumblr Girls” is definitely less riveting than some of the earliest ones. Still, there’s plenty to like about G-Eazy – there’s definitely plenty of potential there. He could stand to expand his lyrical and conceptual palette.
Favorites: “I Mean It,” “Opportunity Cost,” “Lotta That,” “Downtown Love,” “Tumblr Girls” & “Just Believe”