Live Review: G-Eazy at Max Watts, Melbourne

G-Eazy aka Young Gerald took the stage of Max Watts on Tuesday night on his When It’s Dark Out world tour. This was Gerald’s second time in Australia and he wasn’t shy letting us know how much he loves it down here: “The people in Australia go way harder than they do in the States, you make people in the states look like pussies!”

The night started with support act Nico Ghost, a local emcee who recently supported Wu-Tang Clan at their Margaret Court Arena show, and performed at Beyond The Valley festival.

The venue was packed full of twenty year olds, anxiously awaiting the self proclaimed “rap game’s James Dean”. As I stood stage right, next to the media pit and the artists door, security were flurrying about in a state of stress. One leaned over to me and said, “Everyone’s freaking out, it’s going to get too wild.” I could see why: the sold out show was full of young, horny, suburban kids.

The stage was set up with a DJ and drummer; I find when a rapper has live instrumentals it always makes for a more interesting show, so it got off to a good start. His DJ began the set with m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar, immediately setting the vibe for the night. G-Eazy soon walked out – guarded by four security guards – in his signature leather jacket adorned with pins, skinny jeans, sunglasses, and Comme des Garcons Chuck Taylors. Opening with Random, the song was an explosive way to begin the set, pumping up the audience as he confronts the idea that he just lucked into fame. “This is the anthem”, chants the crowd, knowing every word to the song.

The crowd rapped along to each and every song, both from When It’s Dark Out and his 2014 debut album, These Things Happen.

As he jumped around the stage, hyping the crowd to do the same, I looked around and saw a whole venue full of young adults chanting along to Bitch, I got a lot of a hoes and they all up on my dick / All up on my dick, all-all up on my dick.

I couldn’t help but feel uneasy as he rapped about girls being “hoes” and “thots” (a term I think should be eradicated from everyone’s vocabulary) to an audience of predominately young women. I am someone who can appreciate, and at times look beyond ignorant hip-hop, but I found G-Eazy to lack the substance and lyrical content compared to other artists in that genre, meaning that I couldn’t pass his lyrics off has just being within the realms of the hip-hop lexicon. I did appreciate his style, beats, sound, and energy but not his confronting and misogynistic lyrics.

He name-called and belittled his female fans that night. Was I the only one who found it hard to sit through?

I like the foundations of G-Eazy’s music, but as a woman, this show was uncomfortable. I understand a lot of music is reaction based, and there are particular markets an artist wants to tap into, but my concern is: does G–Eazy consider the influence his lyrical content has over his audience? (And are they really his ideals?) The show was entertaining up until the lyrical content took a turn, and I felt like it became more about how many notches G-Eazy has on his belt than an actual hip hop gig.

Image: Howl & Echoes/Michelle Grace Hunder