“When It’s Dark Out”
THE GRADE B+
BOTTOM LINE Showing off his artistic growth on promising sophomore effort
Gerald Gillum, aka G-Eazy, is at his best on “When It’s Dark Out” (RCA) when he embraces his individuality as an artist.
The Bay Area rapper quotes Welsh poet Dylan Thomas to open his sophomore album with “Intro.” He wonders about the role his race plays in his success in “What If.” (“What if the game didn’t care I was white?” he asks. “Would I still be selling out shows every night?”) He delivers a wrenching tale about finding his mother’s girlfriend dead in “Everything Will Be OK.”
In “Sad Boy,” G-Eazy rides a jazzy piano sample to consider why his successful debut hasn’t brought him total happiness. “Gerald, what you so sad for?” he asks himself. “Why the hell you got the blues? Everybody wanna be in your shoes.”
His unique point of view is far more interesting than on some more standard hip-hop like “Drifting,” his collaboration with Chris Brown and Tory Lanez, and “One of Them,” which features Big Sean and a laundry list of things he wants.
G-Eazy is set for major stardom, but only once he realizes that his point of view is more interesting than the mainstream.