From The Bay To The Universe to Minneapolis Minnesota, we sat down with G-Eazy at the second of two sold-out shows at the famous First Avenue venue during his current tour with Bay Area affiliates E40, IAMSU and Jay Ant. With a fresh coat of snow on the ground and fans waiting outside for hours in frigid temperatures it is easy to see that Minnesota has some serious love for G-Eazy. Frequenting the area during his current rise to stardom from the small 7th Street Entry down the street to hitting the main stage at Soundset Festival hosted by our very own Sway Calloway early last summer, we talked with Gerald about the land of 10,000 lakes, co-producing his album and experimenting with different styles and sounds on “These Things Happen.”
Story By: Taylor Lovaas
TL: Second of two sold out shows tonight at First Avenue, how was the atmosphere last night?
G-Eazy: There’s just a different energy in Minnesota. Every time even dating back to the very beginning like the first couple times I ever came here, they show more love here than anywhere else I go besides home. There’s just something about this place man.
TL: You mentioned that same thing when you talked with Tracy G at Soundset.
G-Eazy: Yeah it’s weird man and I really don’t know how to explain it because I didn’t grow up here but they show love as if I did.
TL: Is that the reason why there’s been two shows here at First Avenue as opposed to one show in most of the other cities?
G-Eazy: Yeah for sure and they both sold out in like a day, we could have done a week here. I would love to just like randomly spend a week in Minneapolis and play seven nights at First Ave, that would be crazy.
TL: Speaking of Soundset, how did performing there compare to all the other festivals you played at this year?
G-Eazy: It’s the biggest. That was the biggest crowd I had ever been in front of, and it being a hip-hop festival you have fans of rap music. At a regular festival you have people that are fans of music in general and you could be going to see a bunch of different artists from all kinds of genres. But you know at Soundset it’s all hip-hop fans.
TL: How was performing on the same stage as Nas?
G-Eazy: Oh man, I was on the soles of my shoes just feeling lucky and blessed to get to walk across the same stage that one of my idols walked across later that day.
TL: So “These Things Happen” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts, how much motivation does that give you to have your next project top that and go No. 1?
G-Eazy: F*ckin’ right, I’m addicted to the climb and I’m just really driven. Getting that kind of validation knowing that there were actually a lot of people out there listening to the music and supporting it and going out to stores and buying it just added more fuel to my fire and made me believe in everything that much more that we can really just grow this as big as we want.
TL: Is that different for you since you’ve been putting in work in for so long?
G-Eazy: Yeah because we worked for so long without that validation you know? It just had to come from inside. You have to believe in yourself, but that was the moment I realized that the outside world really was paying attention and did believe in it.
TL: So I know you co-produced the album with Cristoph Anderson, how important is it to be a part of the production when it comes to your projects?
G-Eazy: Super important man, because having a background in production I hear every little sound. If production isn’t the world you come from you don’t know how to pick out kick drums or why you like certain snares better than others or how you want to stack sounds or whatever, I care about all that sh*t a great deal so my attention to detail is real high.
TL: So now that people are really opening up to your work do you feel like you can be more honest and open with your music?
G-Eazy: Yeah for sure man, I mean you know the beautiful thing is I have a platform now and that’s all I ever wanted growing up was just having an audience. Once you have that you can say whatever you want.
TL: “These Things Happen” featured some gritty production which differs from some of your early music, do you see yourself as a more diverse artist as you continue to grow?
G-Eazy: I would say like what I tried to do with this album was pull every sound I knew I had in me out, I tried to do everything I knew I was capable of. Being a debut album I wanted to show as many different sides of me as I could all while doing it and staying true to myself. Drawing from all my inspirations and each type of song I like and executing that and not just doing the same song 16 times. Having a track like “Lotta That” which is just like a sinister, evil, dark kind of melody with hard 808’s and subs underneath it and thats one sound I’m super into. But then “Opportunity Cost” is a more cloudy and introspective record that gives you a different kind of feeling, I react to music like that as well and that’s a sound that I enjoy.
TL: It’s a complete project for sure.
G-Eazy: Yeah that’s what I’m trying to say is that I wanted it to be complete and thorough without spreading myself too thin or reaching, you know what I mean? Staying true to myself but pulling everything I had in me out.
TL: How did this tour come about? Did you approach E40 or did he come to you?
G-Eazy: We were in the studio working on a song for his album, he’s a real good dude and we were just talking and eventually started on the subject of doing a tour and how crazy that would be. You know it’s kind of like the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi, you have the youngster you know the new guy on the scene with the legend and the ambassador of the Bay. It was just a cool idea that we kicked around and we were both down.
While the first leg of From The Bay To The Universe wraps up in Ventura California on November 29th, you can catch Young Gerald along with Kehlani, Jay Ant and Kool John on the second leg of the tour starting January 2nd in Pomona. Watch the trailer below.