G eazy’s new album cover features Gerald facing away from the audience, only allowing the viewers to see the words These Things Happen When It’s Dark Out” written on the back of his classic black jacket, Gerald is unwilling to face his past, moving forward in his life and possibly a new sound. His pattern of releasing music depicts a life of ever changing emotions as Gerald started his career with a mixtape titled The Endless Summer including upbeat tracks delving into his self-confidence, his poor decisions with women, and boasts about his lifestyle.
G Eazy’s music changed course as he moved onto his freshman album, These Things Happen with added emotional tracks featured on the album. The melodic storytelling encompassed within the songs tumblr girls, opportunity cost, downtown love, and lets get lost all reveal another side to Gerald as he exposes emotions unseen in his prior work. Gerald initially identifies the life of a “tumblr girl,” one fulled with liquor, illicit substances, and loneliness. Next downtown love examines a life of a a downtown girl, one going through the motions of life. Perhaps this was a play on a girl of whom broke G Eazy’s heart before.
I stumbled upon G-Eazy whilst frolicking amidst the vast meadows of YouTube in the summer of 2014 and found myself mystified by his ability to conjure such a variety of songs. Gerald could capture his audience’s senses through hype lyrics that would turn up any gathering but what interested me were the songs that tried to tell a story, those that grasped for a deeper meaning for the listener to comprehend. One such track is Let’s Get lost which visits a night out with his possible girlfriend or lady of interest but eventually he ends up with another woman. Throughout all the glamorous videography and entrancing scenes created by the director Tyler Yee, there is another level of storytelling in Gerald’s speech as he delves into reasons why he is not happy with his life and wishes to just “get lost.” The idea of getting lost is suggesting that there is something you wish to get away from which could be a variety of ideas or situations within G Eazy’s ife. Some may take it as he merely wishes to escape his current situation but what he is really talking about is his mind, he wishes to escape his mind that continues to race with thoughts of love and compassion, cycling through emotions just as the music video changes shots. It is the first sign of G Eazy questioning his lifestyle, he depicts himself in his video as a badass who can charm any girl of his choosing yet you can tell by his nonverbal ques that he is not happy, that perhaps he aspires for something more in his life instead of a fling. All the while he exclaims that he wishes not for love but only for sex. One explanation could be this was a time of transition for G Eazy as he was signed with a major label and could have numerous emotions running through his mind as his life began to change dramatically.
In Gerald’s October 2015 release of Me, Myself & I featuring Bebe Rexha, G-Eazy revisits his emotions as he struggles with what it means to be finally famous in the modern world filled with continuous “turn up” and partying. The music video begins with Gerald riding shotgun with an unknown woman, asking her why they cannot enjoy some alone time together and have a lowkey celebration. She asks him to trust her but immediately upon arrival at his presumed home there is a mob of party people and paparazzi waiting for him. A look of sadness exudes from G Eazy’s nonverbal ques but instantaneously changes into a smile while another version of himself exits the room as though he has put his actions and emotions on autopilot because of the situation at hand.
Unsure of how he should feel about where he is in life and those that surround him nightly, he finds himself torn apart into differing feelings on his current situation. This is illustrated through various versions of himself throughout the party in the music video with each of them coming together in the bathroom after Gerald has mentally left the room in the picture above. He then reveals his sadness for the situation as he sarcastically mentions in a shaky, depressed voice, “surprise, surprise, another night of turn up.” After the initial introduction of G Eazy into the party you then follow him around the party walking from room to room without anyone paying any attention to him with someone even shoulder checking him as they walk past.
This negativity is solidified by his opening verse as he explains that he yearns for privacy, “as far as I can see, I just need privacy……I just need space to do me,” instead of being forced to “give the world what they’re tryna see.” Eventually Gerald finds his way to the balcony of the house as he explains that “I just need to be alone, I just need to be at home” and posts up at the outskirts of the party after passing by Bebe Rexha and various randoms that all stare nonchalantly at Gerald. This is where one of my favorite lines from all of G Eazy’s songs come into play as he suggests that “if time is money I need a loan,” that he has been devoting his entire life to becoming famous and is realizing he is running out of time, having to waste it at parties and gatherings he doesn’t wish to attend. Perhaps there is more to life than the pursuit of money and fame, a realization that is affecting G Eazy’s career and lifestyle.
Another chorus takes place with a montage of G Eazy making his way through the crowd making small talk with a beautiful woman draped upon his arm. At 2:10 Gerald is pictured sitting on the balcony above a glorious landscape with a version of himself flirting with a woman while the actively rapping G is sitting off to the side. This is a representation of Gerald’s wish to be alone, that he is indeed physically with this women making small talk while in that same moment his mind is off in the distance pondering his lifestyle and those around him. Gerald delves into his personal emotions as he reiterates his wish to be alone, away from the fake friends, away from lifestyle “everyone knows is dangerous” but he realizes that he loves it, that the rush is amazing where you can “celebrate nightly and everyone rages.” He now has an understanding of the effect his current lifestyle is having on his body, forced upon him by his mixed emotions. “I found how to cope with my anger I’m swimming in money, swimming in liquor my liver is muddy but it’s all good I’m still sippin’ this bubbly. This revelation discovered recently in his career is becoming evident as Gerald is attempting to find a way out of his current lifestyle that is physically destroying his body, this paired with the self-medication of alcohol prescribed for his anger will not lead him down a well paved road called stardom but instead will lead him into the ditch.
(2:45)This is the epitome of the music video as the music is cut out with only the inner dialogue of Gerald exiting your speaker, revealing his true feelings for his situation. This perspective allows for the audience member to witness a plethora of thoughts racing through Gerald’s mind. Various ideologies are discussed about fame during this interlude as G Eazy struggles with outside influences such as his peers inability to understand how Gerald could possibly be sad this point in his life, “You (GEazy) asked for this, you signed up for this.” If Gerald even raised question of his happiness around others he could be questioned as he had worked for this his entire life, “You wanted all of this shit, cheer up asshole.” He fears for his reputation as he could possibly create a negative aura around himself, his label, and his music which would ultimately change his brand.
After participating within the rap game for almost six years Gerald has not only learned the ins and outs of creating, producing music but also the people that are a package deal after becoming famous. It seems that his anguish is in direct correlation with these various versions of himself as he clearly explains “This isn’t what I signed up for, I didn’t know it’d be like this, if I wasn’t making music they wouldn’t be here.” Gerald now has a deeper understanding of his life as he has observed that many of the people that are now in his life would not be there without the fame that he now has, that these exact people are throwing him giant parties not for his sake but for themselves to enjoy. As G Eazy grew as a person so did his sound and themes within his music videos with Me, Myself, and I being a prime example. The end of Gerald’s monologue demonstrates his feelings as he appears defeated with his current situation, wishing himself a “happy birthday Gerald” in a raspy, depressed voice. This signifies the inner emotion of G because there are a multitude of people wishing him happy birthday, or congratulating him on his career explaining to him of why he should be happy. This conflicts with his emotions because on the outside he is appreciative, acting merely to keep face while on the inside he is hurting because of what his fame has done to him and how it has affected the relationships of those he most cared about.
It’s quite possible that all of this is just what is portrayed in the music video, G’s inner thoughts and his fear of going public with his true emotions. These could all also possibly be real examples of people he has attempted to converse with about his hardships.
The music video is continued with Bebe Rexha repeating the chorus as G-Eazy returns to the party and is greeted with a birthday cake accompanied by an overabundance of attractive women. Then it cuts to G standing in a stairwell by himself after he had presumably escaped from the party in which he does not wish to participate. Another version of G is scene outside near a car looking in towards his counterpart, receiving a cold stare as the car’s engine is given life, driving into the darkness with G’s other half left in a stairwell with a women seen previously in the video.
G-Eazy enters his car, a vehicle for another train of thought as he escapes the escapade of fake friends and strong alcohol. One version of himself stays at the party, continuing on the track he is currently on while a part of him wishes to run away from it all, away from his seemingly fake life with the industry folk. The video continues with Gerald driving hastily down the city streets with careless abandon because he believes if you “let go of everything then you have bliss,” hoping to escape from his situation. His final verse suggests his confidence within his abilities to accomplish great things while he understands what effect the long journey to celebrity status has done to him as his “heart’s become too cold to break,” but has given him the tenacity to overcome his shortcomings as everyone has told him to wait, your turn is coming which is why he states that “all my life I’ve been told to wait but I’mma get it now, yeah it’s no debate.”
Through this song there have been many instances suggesting Gerald’s inner thoughts and feelings. After tirelessly examining this media text I found underlying ideologies that led me to write this article, thank you for taking the time to read my interpretation. How can you blame him for having these feelings though? After all, these things happen when it’s dark out.
I’ve included all of the music I spoke about in this article below: