If anything, this album tells us Gerald Gillum has no plans to live modestly and overlooked.
What once was a sensitive, girl-obsessed boy driven by gaining recognition has turned into a man devoted to fame, partying out his problems and telling the world he’s not exactly emotionally stable.
It’s a masterpiece of hits meant for busting the clubs and kicking it with that one person who keeps you up at night.
The tone is certainly raw, and the album mixes his old, sweet verses with new, fierce raps. The sound on “When It’s Dark Out” is exactly that — dark. It’s evident that the smooth beats that charmed us on his first studio album, “These Things Happen,” aren’t absent, but he’s certainly experiencing a transition.
We hear songs about an endless consumption of drugs and alcohol, making hard earned money and struggling with the double-edged sword that is fame. Features by Big Sean and Chris Brown amplify G’s edge on aux-cord worthy tracks. And on the second song, “Random,” he immediately reminds us his success isn’t by accident, rather, it’s the result of dedication and possibly even destiny.
The original Young Gerald finally comes out in the album’s first single, “Me, Myself & I.” In it, he reflects on the war of celebrity and the battles he faces within himself.
“I just need to be alone, I just need to be at home,” he raps. “It changes though now that I’m famous. / Everyone knows how this lifestyle is dangerous. / But I love it, the rush is amazing.”
A subsequent music video for the song shows that going from overlooked to overbooked might have been too fast for the 26-year-old. In the video, we see multiple facets of his personality at a birthday party thrown by a model-like girlfriend, where he suggests these people in his house aren’t there for Gerald but G-Eazy.
In “Sad Boy” we hear more truth in G-Eazy’s rhymes about his emotional troubles threatening his success.
We can only echo the lyrics, the question all on our minds: “Gerald, what you so sad for?”
As the album progresses, we hear a resemblance of the delicate, yet demanding, raps that manage to charm his female fans in “Some Kind of Drug (feat. Mar E. Bassy)” and “Think About You (feat. Quiñ).”
But it’s in “Everything Will Be Ok (feat. Kehlani)” that we get a glimpse of how far the trench of G-Eazy’s sorrow reaches. He raps about losing touch with his brother and coming to terms with his mother starting a relationship with a woman, Melissa, after leaving his father. Gerald reveals after accepting Melissa into his life, he found her body in their basement after a fatal overdose of anti-depressants.
The big question is now that G-Eazy is finally here, will he be able to stay atop this precipice or tumble down into the void?
“When it’s dark out, I search for love but don’t find it. / Just sex ‘n’ drugs, but don’t mind it. / Because nothing’s real, I’m reminded,” he raps in “Don’t Let Me Go (feat. Grace).”
Let’s hope Gerald finds more.
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Romeo Langford is not playing for IU today.
IU defeated Iowa 3-2 in its conference opener.
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