Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:45:17
"I'm definitely a movie guy," exclaims G-Eazy. "I'm really into stylish directors who you can tell their style from a mile away like Baz Luhrmann, Quentin Tarantino, or Tim Burton. I really respect people whether it's a director, a musician, or an artist you can pick out immediately because their style is so unique."
You can put G-Eazy in that category as well. His effortless flow and engaging storytelling make him one of the most formidable MCs out there. He doesn't below to a crew, and he's not biting absolutely anyone's style. In fact, he's a paragon of originality. From his fashion choices to lyrical subject matter, there's nobody else like G-Eazy, and you'll know it's him as soon as you hear him.
Just before leaving on this summer's America's Most Wanted tour with Lil Wayne, T.I., and 2 Chainz, G-Eazy sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino to talk storytelling, music, and so much more.
How important is storytelling to you?
To me, storytelling is a really integral part of hip-hop. The first records I really got obsessed over were Nas's Illmatic and A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders. What's special about those songs is not only Nas's ability to dance around a track, his dexterity, and wordplay, but it's his storytelling. I would ride the train or bus to school, I'd listen to Illmatic, and I'd feel like I was in New York during 1993 or 1994. I always admired that ability to paint a picture of the environment you're writing the record in. I just think that makes music a lot more relatable. A lot of hip-hop is glorifying a lifestyle that people listen to and live vicariously through. I've always admired rappers' ability to tell stories, and I wanted to incorporate that into my music. I feel like I've got a lot to say. I want to give people something to listen to and connect with that on that level. When they hear a love song or whatever, it brings them back to a moment in their life and connects on a deeper plane.
What else fosters that for you?
I watched Factory Girl, which is all about Edie Sedgwick. I wrote this song on the new album based off Edie and Bob Dylan's short relationship. I'll watch a movie, and a story will click with me or inspire me to go put that into a song or something. Sometimes, I could be reading a book. It's also a lot of real life experiences. I'll go through things and think, "Last night was so fucking crazy! I've got to put that into a record". It was a wild experience that was like a movie.
What does "Let's Get Lost" mean to you?
It's going to be the first single off the new album. I'm really excited about it. It's almost a bit autobiographical. It's a representation of this crazy fast-paced lifestyle I've been living for the past year on the road with the over-indulgence, the party, the girls, and the alcohol. Anybody can glorify that. I've had nights, or mornings rather, where I'm still up at six or I'm waking up thinking, "Man, what happened last night?" I think that adds a deeper level to it. It's that rush of that youthful energy like do what you want to do if you see a girl and you fall in love with her that night. It's also that feeling, "Did I make some bad decisions last night? Did I drink way too much?" It all goes with this fast-paced lifestyle. I'm not going to talk about this forever throughout my whole career. Right now, I'm young. All of this is new to me. The success is starting to build. It's getting excited, and it's just a roller coaster right now. That's what I wanted this record to reflect.
Did the video come from you?
One of my best friends Tyler Yee has directed all of my videos up until now. It's "Eazy Season" as I like to say. I asked a couple of close friends what song they thought we should shoot a video for. Everyone was like "Let's Get Lost" is the obvious choice. Tyler put together a treatment. I'm always involved with anything creative though. For me, I like to borrow different scenes or parts from movies or videos I really like. There's one scene in the music video lifted from the movie Big Fish, but it's different context. You wouldn't necessarily notice it, but it's one of my favorite scenes in the movie. I borrowed from the Leonardo DiCaprio Romeo + Juliet when they hook up under water. I wanted it to be honest. We really do rage at these big grand parties. You get drunk, end up in a pool, you're showering it off at six in the morning, and thinking about what happened last night. I'm trying to remain true. This is genuine. This is really what we do in our lives.
If Must Be Nice were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
That's a really tough one! I can tell you what movies we lifted for "Plastic Dreams". Requiem for a Dream was a big one. There was a commercial that was a really big influence. It was the original 1984 Apple commercial with the big brother on the screen and the chick that's running with the sledgehammer and she throws it into the screen. That was the symbology behind me smashing the TV with the baseball bat. The TV represents mainstream media and that route to go as an artist and destroying that saying. I'm going to do this my way. "Must Be Nice" is a classic come-up story. There's a million of those.
Are you approaching the new vision with a certain vision?
When I go in to make a record, I want to have a clear idea of what I want to say, what the sonic quality is going to be like, what the sounds are going to be, what the synths are going to be, and what the mood is. Obviously, you don't stay there through the whole record. Back to Midnight Marauders and Illmatic, you could listen to those records from front-to-back, and there was a concept there that brought together the whole album. I strive to have that when I'm making a record. With this new record, I finally got the time. This is a little darker. There was the "Roaring Twenties" and then "Prohibition Thirties". It's not saying, "I'm over the party". We still party into oblivion, but there's a level of stress the next day like, "What happened?" This is a roller coaster right now.
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