By AMBER AINSWORTH, A&E Editor
G-Eazy’s fame is at an all-time high with the release of his album When It’s Dark Out. The Bay Area rapper has been releasing singles for months, raising anticipation for what he had planned, but they are nothing compared to the full capacity of the 17-track album that rolled out on Dec. 4.
G leads the album with an intro that includes him reciting lines from the poem “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas, easing in with the line, “Rage, rage, rage,” and that he does.
The overall theme of the songs seem to be focused on partying, getting drunk and having a good time, though under the surface, G’s struggle to reach fame and grow from obstacles he has faced comes out from the cocky and arrogant lyrics that he raps. He weaves together lines about both his partying lifestyle and hardships in a seamless way that creates a blend of emotions and feelings, while not coming off choppy or unfocused.
In “Random,” he talks about what he wants and needs, specifically referencing a fast life, but also follows up with how he focused and has a passion for what he is doing. While every track includes something about how happy and careless he is, there is always some contrast to said feelings. In “One of Them,” G refers to himself as greedy, immediately followed by the notion that it is all because he wants to have what he could never have when he was growing up. “Drifting” goes even deeper, with G speaking of how his lifestyle is ruining a relationship, with him trying to rationalize the situation. Even more centered on how driven he is, “Calm Down” is a track that he talks about how he hasn’t taken shortcuts or cheats to reach where he is in life. “What If” is a similar track, where G says, “A respect for art will always come first before money and fame.”
Taking a darker stance on his life are “Sad Boy” and “Me, Myself, and I.” “Sad Boy” has G speaking of how others think he should be happy, though it is not the easiest for him, while “Me, Myself, and I” allows a release for him about how he wants to be alone and needs to spend time at home away from the fast-paced life he is leading.
The album also boasts a long list of featured artists, with 11 of the 17 tracks including a feature. E-40, Keyshia Cole, Too $hort, Chris Brown, and Big Sean are some of the notable artists that not only make appearances on the album but also provide solid foundations for the songs. In one of the tracks, “Drifting,” it is over a minute before G even joins the verses, with Chris Brown and Tory Lanez setting the scene for him.
Overall, G-Eazy manages to combine a blend of optimistic and sad lines, beats that add depth and power, and featured artists to create a work that goes beyond mainstream rap music. While sex, drugs and money are huge, G has deep connections with his past and his struggles that he shares in a way that is raw and well thought out.
When It’s Dark Out has a little bit of everything in every single song that makes it a must-listen-to album. G-Eazy’s career is constantly blowing up and from what he was able to create this year, there’s no telling what is next.