Living in a grey area can be tricky. Spirited highs and lows blend together, pumping anxiety through one’s veins. It’s the story behind G-Eazy’s latest album, The Beautiful & Damned as well as the mood flowing through his New Jersey tour stop Friday night (Mar. 16).
If you’re one of the rapper’s many die-hard fans, you know the feeling all too well. It was anything but fleeting as the rapper performed in the event space above baby boomers indulged in Sex & The City-themed slot machines at Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino and Spa. The rapper turned a portion of the casino into his tortured world by splitting the show into two parts framed after his latest release. His first batch of jams pay tribute to glowing moments in his career (“The Plan,” “Pray for Me,” “Sober”), his mood the same as he locks eyes with fans reciting the lyrics before they hit the mic.
But it’s the Damned segment that awakens the audience wrapped up in his world. Gerald is without his signature all-black look and returns in a white loosed stray jacket while continuing to tell tales of his topsy-turvy life. G-Eazy’s success was a long time coming. His somber raps paired with carefully crafted hooks have served him well, earning his first Billboard Top Ten hit with “Me Myself & I” featuring Bebe Rexha in 2016. Whether it was by accident or design, the Bay Area native’s path to self-discovery has molded into his rap persona.
His honesty about drug use, depression, and public exposure have gained critical praise, but more of the fame monster he’s trying to evade. It’s heard past the smoke on stage through the cuts, “Leviathan,” and “Summer In December.” But there’s accountability through his demons, especially heard on “Fly Away,” a suspected dedication of sorts to former partner and collaborator Devon Baldwin.
But it’s not all self-loathing raps. A cheery gleam cuts through The Beautiful & Damned show by way of surprise guest, Halsey. The singer and proud Jersey native jumped into their chart-topping love tune “Him & I” with fans catching every stolen glance between the two. The real-life couple has gotten steamy on stage before, but this time the two spoke of each other’s praises after the performance. G gave endless compliments to his queen, while Halsey thanked her Jersey family for their dedication to the rapper.
A rap concert in a casino may seem a bit erroneous, but given G’s uncanny ability to thrive in a grey area, it makes all the sense in the world.
Check out more dates for The Beautiful & Damned tour here.