With Logic, Yo Gotti and YG
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
From the time G-Eazy finished the first song of his headlining set at Gexa Energy Pavilion on Tuesday, he appeared to be in awe of the 20,000 people in the sold-out crowd. As the beat to “Random” played out, the Bay Area rapper removed his glasses and acknowledged the zealous fans in the front row, gazed at the standing crowd in the amphitheater and scanned the packed lawn.
This stop in Dallas was the first night of G-Eazy's Endless Summer Tour that features Logic, Yo Gotti and YG, and it marked a new peak in the 27-year-old’s career. Three years ago, he performed at the same Dallas venue as opener for Lil Wayne. “There were about three people up here, two people over there and maybe six people in the lawn,” he joked, recalling that night on Tuesday. He said that he took it as a learning experience, sat in the stands with the crowd, studied Lil Wayne’s show and told himself he’d come back one day as the headliner. On that tour he wrote his debut album These Things Happen and the rest is history.
It's not hard to see G-Eazy's appeal. He isn’t shy about hamming up his sex appeal up with his dedicated female base, but most importantly he plays it safe. His brand of hip-hop isn’t controversial and mostly falls into two categories: Songs about partying or songs about his ambition. The heartthrob has carved out a place for himself in music as the pop superstar who raps.
But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a ton of work involved. G-Eazy tours more than most hip-hop artists; he was just in Dallas in January, when he headlined at The Bomb Factory. During the hourlong set he tirelessly worked through over 20 tracks from his two albums and mixed in older material.
And yet, there was reason to be concerned with The Endless Summer Tour. When YG is the opener of the bunch it definitely shines a spotlight on the current state of hip-hop. YG is the polar opposite of G-Eazy in many regards. If G-Eazy’s music is safe, YG’s music is unabashedly controversial for the pop set. It also represents the essence of hip-hop’s roots. The West Coast rapper was more than happy to Blood Walk across the stage and twist his fingers for his "Bompton" neighborhood.
On his critically acclaimed sophomore album Still Brazy, released earlier this month, YG raps about getting shot last summer, the plight of Compton, police brutality and his absolute disdain for Donald Trump over traditional West Coast G-Funk beats. If YG really is the last relevant gangster rapper left, then it would appear the consumers are choosing to listen to the G-Eazy's of the world instead.
Still, The Endless Summer Tour did a fantastic job of representing the diversity of today’s hip-hop, and the other two rappers on the bill represent the middle ground. Yo Gotti represents the Southern hustlers, rapping about their street life and ostentatious lifestyles, while Logic is a student of the game. The 26-year-old is an amalgamation of rappers with sharp MC skills like Eminem, KRS-One or Tech N9ne. He's quickly developing a loyal fanbase of his own but outside of his fantastic rapping abilities, he falls short of the appeal G-Eazy possesses or the authenticity and clout of Yo Gotti and YG.
No matter how you look at it, though, this tour is a shining moment for G-Eazy, and he’s relishing it. If his opening night was any indication, his fans across the country are in for a great time. G-Eazy's popularity still shows no signs of slowing down and it will be interesting to see how much his fanbase has grown the next time he comes to town.