G-Eazy • When It’s Dark Out • RCA • Release Date: 12.4.15
Gerald Gillum, better known as G-Eazy had a solid year in 2014, dropping a successful debut album, These Things Happen. What better to celebrate a breakthrough album than dropping another one while the fire is hot? G-Eazy does just that with When It’s Dark Out, which ultimately turns out to be a better-rounded effort than his first.
Following a frightening, intense “Intro,” a swaggered up G-Eazy ‘randomly’ unloads on “Random.” Actually, “This sh*t is not random,” or so he spits in the hook. Regardless of whether it is or isn’t G-Eazy is definitely in his zone and sets the tone for the album. Oh an back to that swagger thing, he boasts, “Sign CDs and I sign breasts / understand, to these female fans, I’m sex.”
“Me, Myself & I” (featuring Bebe Rexha) keeps the momentum rolling strong, delivering one of the album’s best songs. What isn’t there to like? Rexha’s hook shines, the track is exceptionally well produced, and G-Eazy is as cocky and profane as ever. Hit! The same can be said of “One of Them” featuring Big Sean. Sure it ‘goes stupid,’ but at least it goes stupid infectiously: “I seen that big house, I need one of them / I seen that Lambo, I need one of them…I seen them bad b*tches, got tons of them…” You get the idea.
The relationship-oriented “Drifting” brings Tory Lanez and Chris Brown (shocker) into the fold, with Lanez taking first verse honors and Brown handling the hook. G-Eazy handles the remaining two verses, painting a picture of his strained relationship. Give him credit – he’s brutally honest: “I blame it on the distance / why I’m f**kin’ with these b*tches.”
Too $hort fittingly joins the Bay Area party on yet another memorable, catchy joint, “Of All Things.” It’s definitely the hook…or maybe the production…or everything! “Order More” is a faded – literally. “I just did some molly for the hell of it,” Eazy spits on his first verse, continuing in wasted fashion spitting, “I’m hyphy and I’m drunk, I’m doin’ hella sh*t.” Throw in Starrah’s distinct pipes on the equally faded hook and you’ll get high just listening to “Order More.”
If nothing more, G-Eazy gets one killer line out of the brief, Young Chop produced “Calm Down”: “And fuck it I’m the coldest white rapper in the game / since the one with the bleached hair.” Keeping the production (and album) first-rate is “Don’t Let Me Go” featuring Grace, which brilliantly samples “My Way of Life.” Dark and epic, “Don’t Let Me Go” fits right in, as does the unapologetic “You Got Me,” where Eazy consistently reiterates “B*tch you got me f**ked up.” Yep, can’t forget that one!
“What If” doesn’t reinvent the wheel or distinguish itself from the other songs, but hey, Eazy does throw in a sharp Bill Clinton reference – not appropriate though! Perhaps the biggest con is its similarity in sound to “You Got Me.” “Sad Boy” is stronger, contrasting the generally ‘in your face’ sounds of When It’s Dark Out in favor of a kindler, gentler backdrop. Why is “Sad Boy” stronger? It’s introspective and clever, depicting a “me versus me” mentality.
Things are happier by the arrival of “Some Kind of Drug” featuring the enthused pipes of Marc E. Bassy. Is the topic of choice drugs? Nope – sex, hence “some kind of drug.” The drug continues to exhibit its influence on “Think About You,” only its posed toward an ex. Whether it’s an ex-girlfriend or not, Quiñ’s sensual vocals only amplifies the desire…or question marks.
“Everything Will Be Ok” is in the same league as “Sad Boy” – personal, introspective, and authentic. It may not excite like shallower cuts, but it’s better because of its depth. When It’s Dark Out concludes with “For This” and the star-studded “Nothing To Me,” featuring Keyshia Cole and E-40. Neither supplants earlier highlights, but both are worthwhile.
So how does When It’s Dark Out stack up? It’s an enjoyable, overall well conceived rap album. G-Eazy is true to himself and doesn’t pretend to be somebody he isn’t, which is what’s endearing about it. Is he a bit overconfident and oversexed? Perhaps, but where would When It’s Dark Out be without his cockiness and sexcapades? The biggest rub is length, but otherwise, there’s plenty to love about Dark.
Favorites: “Me, Myself & I,” “One of Them,” “Drifting,” “Sad Boy,” and “Everything Will Be OK”