G-Eazy has had an incredible career so far. After climbing the charts with his major label debut “These Things Happen” in 2014, the rapper has worked with some of the biggest names in music like Tyga, Post Malone, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B and E-40 to name a few.
With a seventh studio album out soon, the Oakland native is showing no signs of slowing down. But despite achieving worldwide fame, during our chat I discovered that one of G’s biggest drivers in life is human connection. This passion drives his open and honest music, as well as his contributions to the football world.
We caught up with G-Eazy ahead of his seventh studio album to talk music, style and football.
“Football connects people”
G has a warmth that emanates in his aura and his music too. You could be forgiven for thinking that, like most rappers, he might have a hard edge or a bit of an attitude. But no, I can confirm G-Eazy, or Gerald as he’s known to his mates, is just a really nice guy.
One thing you might not know about the Oakland rapper is that he’s a football fan (soccer, to him). In fact, he’s a part owner in his local team Oakland Roots.
“I’ve grown an appreciation for soccer because of its global impact and ability to connect people and bring them together. I think if you don't feel connected to a community or if you don't have a deep urge to want to give back or to stay connected, then you're just kind of floating in the abyss.”
It was this love of his community that saw him become an investor in his local club, Oakland Roots, who play in the USL - the second tier of U.S. soccer behind the Major League. The club is one of the last remaining professional sports clubs in the city and is a thriving hub of community for the people of Oakland.
The community spirit of the club prompted G to invest, saying; “Things like sport, that tie you to where you're from and maintain a connection with your fellow people, are so important.”
I have a lot of pride and loyalty and love for the city of Oakland and a deeply rooted feeling that it’s important to have a team to root for in the city of Oakland.” The opportunity to invest came through a long chain of mutual friends, and after watching the team and seeing what it means to the fans, he knew he could help the club grow and reach more people.
“I kept watching the team and the brand grow and grow and grow, and I just thought it was a beautiful and great thing for Oakland,” he tells me. With the season having just kicked off in the States, G shared that he loves to go to games whenever he can. He’s passionate about getting as many people involved as possible, so that they can feel the joy of being part of a team.
“I would love to see the club and the culture around it continue to grow, to continue to expand… I’d love to be just a small part of the legacy of the Oakland Roots and the story around the team,” he explains.
Oakland through and through
G-Eazy is proud to be from Oakland, describing it as one of the most creatively inspiring places you could find. The ethos of the city seems to have rubbed off on his music, style and personality.
“It's a place with a very deep and rich history of counterculture, of activism, of rebellion, from the Black Panther movement to the era that I grew up in in the mid-2000s, which was this vibrant era in hip hop and culture of rock, it was unlike anything else. It's a city that embraces uniqueness and diversity, and it's a very special place for those reasons.”
His confidence in his style and individuality was born in his hometown and is something he credits to this day saying; “Oakland is one of the reasons I feel confident, you know, in being myself and embracing my own individuality and my own identity and not needing to conform or fit in. It’s important to not just blend in and just exist.”
For G, style and clothes are a vital part of this self-expression and a way to showcase your most authentic self. He says; “I think if you have taste, which is something I don't think you can ever learn or acquire…then it's important to trust your taste and to have confidence in yourself and to follow what you instinctively want to say or do or wear and to not care so much about what other people think.”
His unique style has been collected over the years, drawing inspiration from an eclectic range of sources. “My style has a wide range of influences - there’s so many layers to it. Everything from streetwear to rock and roll to high fashion inspires me.”
In the U.K. football, music and fashion have been crossbred to create a rich subculture that is world-renowned. While the U.S. might not have such a historic soccer culture, G tells me that music and fashion are still a big part of how people appreciate the sport.
“It's an amazing opportunity to be one of the faces involved in the movement. To perform at the games and to show up and wear the merch and to represent the Roots.”
Currently sitting at mid-table with only a handful of games played, the Roots are looking forward to a big season and G-Eazy will be right behind them.
Back in the studio
When G’s not supporting his team, he’s in the studio creating. The rapper recently took a hiatus to grieve the loss of his mother, and is now back with his seventh studio album which features the recently released track “Tulips & Roses”.
He shared that his latest album is one of his most honest and raw. Many of the tracks were written whilst he was in Europe, taking some time to process his emotions and heal. The music that came out of that period touches on themes of life and death, change and evolution and being blindsided by grief.
For G, it’s vital to share the whole spectrum of human experience, because in sharing his deepest darkest emotions, he knows other people will relate. “I know I’m not the only one [feeling these things], and art can be such a powerful language of connection to other people. And it's almost like you have a responsibility to the rest of the world to share. And that's the power of art when it's genuine, honest and emotional and truthful.”
Expressing every aspect of the emotional spectrum is important to G-Eazy, and his latest body of work is an ode to every season of life. “There's sunlight and then there's dark. There's four seasons. There's many different layers to the human experience.”