03 February 2011

art/official Proudly Presents: G-Eazy

GEazy nike

Gerald Gillum, aka G-Eazy, is a rapper, producer, and performer from Bay Area California who currently resides in New Orleans, Louisiana. When he isn’t busy hitting the books at Loyola University, where he is pursuing a degree in music business, G passes his time writing, recording, and performing refreshingly coherent and honest rap songs that have already earned him a good deal of national acclaim.  The young rapper has been lucky enough thus far to share a stage with big names like Girl Talk, Curren$y, Drake, Mike Jones, and Juvenile, effectively proving that he has a bright future ahead of himself.

If nothing else, Gillum is evidence to the improbable notion that the two conflicting lifestyles of student and rapper can be successfully lived by one person, and that’s quite an accomplishment in itself. Furthermore, these two seemingly incompatible lifestyles feed off of each other in a completely symbiotic and healthy way; the half way normal life lead by Gillum as a student and “self-doubting” young adult often times provides him with the inspiration needed to orchestrate his music.

**Also be sure to check out the track live from Electronic TKVR by clicking here!

Below, we turn the spotlight onto this champion of New Orleans and ask him a few questions of our own:

 Let's start with the basic stuff. Give us a little G-Eazy history; tell us where you're from, and how where you grew up helped to shape you as person and a musician.
  • I grew up mainly in Berkeley & Oakland California. I bounced around a lot as a kid, but the Bay Area was always home. I attended Berkeley public schools, which had a lot to do with shaping me into who I am today. Berkeley is a very diverse town, so I was around so many different cultures. Hip-hop was the dominant genre / culture at the time, so naturally I became a fan. As a kid, I looked up my Aunt & Uncle who played in numerous local rock bands, so the idea of pursuing a career in music always seemed cool to me. But it wasn't until I found rap, that I got the idea to really do it.
So anyone in Nola that is familiar with you probably knows that besides being a rapper/producer/musician, you are also a full-time student at Loyola. How did you end up in Nola going to school at Loyola? Also, what do you study there?
  • In high school I wasn't sure if I really wanted to go to college. I had a hard time paying attention in school, because I didn't care much for anything I was learning. I knew I was passionate about doing music, and I knew I was fascinated by the music industry. So I met with my college counselor and she asked what I could see myself studying. I told her I had no clue, so she asked what I was into and I told her music business. She found Loyola, I applied, got in, got a good scholarship, and now I'm here. 
Discuss briefly your major musical influences and how they helped you to pursue a career in music.
  • The artists I listened to most growing up were Dr. Dre, Nas, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Eminem and Tupac. These are all artists that definitely influenced me in a huge way, and inspired me to want to do music.
Being a white rapper today can sometimes be a comical, also taboo occupation. Do you feel like you've over come pointless stereotypes by doing exactly that, or do you feel like one of Eminem's and Atmosphere's greatest allies? 
  • The way I see it, I love hip-hop, I enjoy making records. People seem to like the songs I make. I have fun doing what I do, and it seems to be working. Everybody wants to talk about race, but I feel like it's not as relevant as it used to be. Hip-hop is evolving. It was a bigger deal 5-10 years ago, because successful white rappers were so rare, and because of that, everybody made a big deal out of it. It's way more common now, so it's less of a big deal. It's just like, yeah; he's white, what's the big deal? Can we get past that? 
We're huge fans here at art/official of the up and coming indie act Tennis, who is due to release their first full length album this month on Oxford, Mississippi's record label Fat Possum. Your track Waspy features samples from that very band. Were you able to meet those guys (whether it be over the telephone, in person, or otherwise) and if so, tell us what they were like, and where you see their musical endeavors taking them in the future?  
  • Tennis is amazing. I love their music; their style is super dope. Unfortunately I've never had the opportunity to meet them or anything though. The only encounter we ever had was indirect at best. It was a rather stern email we received from their lawyer warning us not to sell "Waspy" on iTunes or anywhere else online.

What's your favorite thing about our incredible city, New Orleans?
  • The culture, the people, the parties, the music, etc.
Tell us where you see yourself going, musically, after you finish college. 
  • I'd like to tour nearly full-time. I'm looking to continue the momentum I've built up while in school, and hopefully take everything to the next level once I'm out of school and can devote 100% of my time and energy to my career. 
Finally, regardless of where your musical career takes you in the future, do you plan to keep a permanent address here in Nola?
  • Absolutely man, I see myself keeping an address here for as long as possible.                                            
Beats and Treats!!!

~As in our last spotlight, we've asked G to hook us up with some tunes for you guys to listen to and download for free! Simply right click + "save as" if you want to download either/both of the tracks.

G-Eazy - Good For Great (ft. Matt & Kim)
G-Eazy - Right Now (ft. Team Robot)

~We mentioned above that G-Eazy has performed with a plethora of big names in the business. Check out this live video of our man performing with Drake in Cleveland at the House of Blues by clicking here!

~It gets better. G has put out a bangin' mix-tape entitled "Big" which is certainly a must download!

G-Eazy Big Mixtape album art

**Finally for more info on G-Eazy, you can check out an interview by Donuts and Milk (what ever that is) by clicking here, and be sure to check out his website at http://www.g-eazy.com/. If you live in the New Orleans area, G-Eazy will be performing at at the Republic on February 25th. Be sure to go out and show some support!

After doing two of these spotlights, on two extremely talented musicians who both find their origin in a place away from New Orleans, it is becoming obvious, and rightfully so, that musicians have and always will flock to not only the other two great bohemia’s in our country, but also to New Orleans; and they will make it their home.

g-eazy crowd

-Article and Interview by Justen Cheney
-Composed by Aaron Saltzman


Anonymous said...

This guy is SO unique. A pioneer of the go-to-class/rap career hybrid lifestyle. There is no-one else doing this... seriously

Anonymous said...

Love the song with Tennis!!!