Despite the success of any debut album, an artist’s sophomore album is undoubtedly one of the most precarious ventures for any artist in the industry.
It sure has been a life changing year for Bay Area rapper, G-Eazy (Gerald Gillum) as his fame has skyrocketed after the release of his 2014 debut album, “These Things Happen.” Now, one year later, after experiencing a new lifestyle of being young, rich and famous, the Oakland native has finally released his highly anticipated sophomore album, “When It’s Dark Out.” The album was released on Dec. 4, showing the world that the sophomore slump is no tribulation for this up and coming rapper.
On “When It’s Dark Out,” G-Eazy continues to showcase the same unique style of rapping that first made him noteworthy. Unlike many of his competitors, G-Eazy smoothly raps in a manner where the words he’s saying are very clearly understood. The majority of his songs convey a unique point of view that is far more interesting than the mainstream.
The sophomore album has G-Eazy straying away from the softer, light-hearted style that filled “These Things Happen” and instead demonstrates a much darker side. It’s a far more mature sound that reveals just how far G-Eazy has come, as his songs present more serious and distinguished content.
The 17-track album features a number of guest appearances from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Chris Brown, E-40, Big Sean, Too Short, Keyshia Cole and Kehlani.
The album showcases the rapper’s new life in the spotlight, as it’s divided into two sections of more meaningful songs and of more “turn-up” songs.
“Everything Will Be OK” featuring Kehlani is one of the most emotional, personal tracks on the album that discusses traumatic events with his family. He speaks on his mom’s sexuality as he raps, “Such is life, even if it took time for me to accept it/No longer dad now but a woman with whom she slept with.” The song’s chilling final verse will leave goosebumps on any listener’s skin as G-Eazy raps about the tragic passing of his mom’s girlfriend. “I shook her she was blue, her skin was cold, she wasn’t breathing/ Screamed, ‘Melissa wake up’ couldn’t fathom that she was leaving/ Mom and Bro was running down, I screamed ‘somebody help’/ Try pumping her chest, CPR, but it didn’t help,” he raps.
G-Eazy opens up once again on another very introspective song, “Sad Boy.” The track battles between the rapper’s double sided personality as G-Eazy—the rapper and Gerald—the regular human being.
He questions why the success of his debut hasn’t brought him the happiness he expected as he raps, “Gerald what you so sad for? / Why the hell you got the blues? / Everybody wanna be in your shoes/…Forgot you’re all famous now and rich?”
“Think About You” is an emotional darker love song about breakups and his tragic romance for a certain girl.
Taking a break from the introspective tracks, “You Got Me” and “Order More” are obvious turn-up tracks meant to be played in the clubs. “Drifting” featuring Chris Brown and Tory Lanez and “One of Them” featuring Big Sean are some of the more typically standard hip-hop tracks on the album.
The braggadocios track, “Random” has a great sounding beat that works well with slower-paced verse. “Don’t Let Me Go,” “One of Them” and “Me, Myself & I” are respectable tracks that shed light on the struggles of dealing with new-found fame and the unglamorous realities that come along with it.
“When It’s Dark Out” is a direct continuation of “These Things Happen” that work well together and practically fit together like puzzle pieces. It shows that G-Eazy has been working toward this his whole life and was well prepared for this moment. It is an impressive album that demonstrates how far G-Eazy has come as an artist as well as his infinite potential. There is no doubt that the combination of his unique rapping style and ability to create distinguished content has set him up for major stardom.