G-Eazy has been keeping to himself. Just two months after the Bay Area artist dropped These Things Happen Too in 2021, the sequel to his 2014 platinum effort These Things Happen, his mother passed away. She was G’s biggest supporter, and the lyricist penned a vulnerable eulogy to commemorate her on Instagram.
“The shock still won’t let me accept the feeling that I’ll never get to hug you in person again,” he wrote. “My queen, my hero, my everything…my mom.”
He followed up this tribute with a single titled “Angel,” a measured, guitar-ladden ballad far different from any of the snappy commercial rap beats on These Things Happen Too. When HipHopDX spoke to G, he was in Boston, taking in the architecture of neighboring Cambridge and gearing up to head to a Celtics game. “Angel” wasn’t part of any roll-out, he made it just to celebrate his mother. He’s actually taking a well-deserved break from music, giving himself space to relax and enjoy the spoils of a long career.
“I’ve just been allowing myself the time I’ve felt I needed to kinda reset and kinda figure out where I wanna go, and allow myself time to grieve,” G-Eazy said. “For the better part of the last decade I never really took a break, it was always just go go go, so I think it’s important every now and then to slow down and evaluate what it is you wanna do with intention.”
As G-Eazy’s career has progressed, his newer projects have shifted away from the commercial rap that has long been his calling card, instead they’ve aimed to reflect the state of mind of Gerald Gillum the man. On 2020’s Everything’s Strange Here, the rapper shed his quippy lyricism for woozy, translucent alt-rock. It was a project birthed out of the stresses of quarantine and out of unease for the future. As G-Eazy experiences yet another life-altering event, he discusses how it’s changed his sound, if at all.
“It’s been a difficult six months to say the least since losing her,” G-Eazy said. “Me and my mom were so extremely close, and she was an art professor so I would share a lot of my work and a lot of my creative thoughts with her whenever I was working on new material, and she would give me her feedback from an outside perspective.”
When asked if he felt her passing had actually hindered his creativity he responded sincerely.
“It’s like, there’s this gaping,” G-Eazy stops himself, searching for the words. “There’s a void. There’s this missing part of me that’s been difficult to live with and adjust to, but ultimately grieving can be a difficult process and it’s not always a linear one, but I’m finding ways to honor her in the music and to keep her spirit with me at all times.”
The platinum rapper has since pivoted his attention to cryptocurrency, launching an NFT collection with esteemed artist and graphic designer Dzanar Abbas-Zade, who had previously designed visual work for Akon, Chris Brown and other major pop stars. The collection, dubbed “The Geralds,” focuses on the multiple sides of the rapper, and was born out of wide-eyed curiosity.
“I’ve been curious about this space, and I’ve been eager to learn as much as I can,” G-Eazy said. “I wanted to get involved and just kind of jump into this world so I could learn more and begin to see what works and what doesn’t and how it ultimately can connect me with my audience and how we can grow together. We live in a rapidly evolving world, but ultimately you have to keep your finger on the pulse and pay attention to the different ways that we connect with our fans.”
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G-Eazy continued, “The concept of ‘The Geralds’ was finding a way to capture the many different sides of my personality and my identity. I wanted to target my die-hard fans with this project and allow them to peek into the different sides of who I am as a person. For those who’ve followed my career for a long time or listened to the deep cuts, they would probably know these things, but the rest of the world doesn’t. So I just wanted to show that this is who I am.”
G-Eazy is new to the crypto space and admits that getting involved in NFT’s was confusing at times. He didn’t take to it as naturally as other artists like Money Man.
“It’s definitely confusing at times,” he said. “I think NFT as a technology is something that we’re still figuring out how to utilize and how to apply it and how it can work for us. It’s just one of those things that we’re all learning together at the same time.”
Don’t get it twisted, G-Eazy isn’t becoming a crypto guru. He says he’s still hitting the studio every night but in terms of a new record, he said he’s allowing it to show itself naturally. His circle has been very understanding.
“A lot of people encouraged me to be kind to myself and to slow down and take my time and not feel rushed back into work,” G-Eazy said. “So I just wanted to allow myself that opportunity. I’ve just been taking my time with this next record, figuring out what I wanna say and where I wanna go creatively and figure out what feels like the right move for me next, but I stay active in my studio. I record pretty much every night and I think that’s definitely essential.”
For more information on “The Geralds,” head here.