by Andrew Colvert
“I got it all man I’m young, rich, and handsome”, G-Eazy boasts on the album’s second track “Random”. Eazy, born Gerald Gillum, has confidence in spades, and it’s oh-so apparent in his second major-label effort When It’s Dark Out. With features from Big Sean, Chris Brown, Too Short, and Keyshia Cole, it seems the Bay Area kid has finally ascended to the mainstream he’s been coveting. If his previous album, last summer’s These Things Happen is about his rise, Dark Out is all about what happens when he got there. “I went from overlooked to overbooked”, he snarls on “Sad Boy”, one of the album’s only somber tracks. In a genre mainly composed of black rappers, Eazy is unfazed. “What if the game didn’t care I was white? Would I still be selling out shows every night?” he asks on “What If”, challenging the rap world that he’s gunning for the crown, white or not. And perhaps he can reach it, thanks to his superb writing throughout the album. His lyrics paint a vivid picture throughout the album, particularly in songs like the Marc E. Bassy-assisted “Some Kind of Drug”, a woozy, lo-fi ode to hotel sex, and “Calm Down, a hyphy banger where Eazy raps about how much better he is than you. Lines like “Having visions of fuckin an A-list singer, Kardashian or a Jenner. But Ye’s got Kim, Tyga swooped up Kylie, so there’s one left I should go get her” from the latter highlight Eazy’s unwavering cockiness. While his last album felt a little forced, Eazy seems right at home on Dark Out. While it’s easy to see the improvements in his flow, lyrics, and subject matter, what’s lacking is a diverse choice of beats. While Southside, who executively produced the album, did a fine job, the fact that Eazy failed to include any old-style samples reminiscent of his early days, ala “Runaround Sue” or “Makeup Sex”, may turn off previous fans. However, Eazy will no doubt gain new ones with one of the better all around hip hop releases this year.