Gerald Earl Gillum (born May 24, 1989), better known by his stage name G-Eazy, is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer from Oakland, California. His first major-label album, These Things Happen was released on June 23, 2014, and received positive reviews from critics. The album peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard 200. His second album, When It's Dark Out, was released on December 4, 2015.
When Gillum was in the first grade, his mother left his father (who is an associate professor of art at CSU Fresno). Gillum and his younger brothers, James and Noah, moved in with their grandparents in Berkeley, California. They later moved to North Oakland, although Gillum continued to attend school in Berkeley. When Gillum was around 12 years old, his mother began dating a woman named Melissa Mills.
This initially confused and embarrassed Gillum, who could not comprehend the change in his mother's personal life. However, as he came to accept Mills as a part of the family and grew close to her, Mills became depressed due to drugs she was taking to treat her manic depressive disorder. One day, Gillum came home to find Mills dead from an overdose. He details this experience in the last verse of "Everything Will Be OK" on his second album, When It's Dark Out.
2008–14: Career beginnings
Starting out as a record producer, G-Eazy began working on numerous singles while he was still a student at the Loyola University at New Orleans. He then gained some recognition for being a part of the new hip hop scene back in the East Bay Area, joining with such artists as Lil B, Crohn and The Cataracs. During his early years, he became a member of a local hip hop group, called "The Bay Boyz", who had released several songs on their official Myspace page. In 2010, G-Eazy started gaining popularity when he was given an opportunity to open for some well-known artists, most notably Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg.
G-Eazy's mixtapes at this period of time were met with limited success. In August 2011, he released The Endless Summer via his official site. The mixtape sampled a number of songs, most notably an updated version of 1961's US No. 1 hit song, "Runaround Sue", performed by Dion DiMucci. This song garnered over four million views via YouTube. The music video for "Runaround Sue" (featuring Devon Baldwin) was directed by Tyler Yee. The mixtape features guest appearances from Greg Banks, Erika Flowers and Devon Baldwin. In November 2011, Gillum embarked on his nationwide tour with Shwayze. "My Life Is a Party" was featured in the game Saints Row: The Third on an in-game radio station.
On June 16, 2012, G-Eazy performed all United States dates on the annual Vans Warped Tour. On July 25, 2012, the Excellent Adventure Tour was announced, which featured Hoodie Allen and G-Eazy. The two performed in cities across the U.S., including Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Columbus, Des Moines, New Orleans, Atlanta, Austin, and Philadelphia. On September 26, 2012, G-Eazy released his first full-length album, Must Be Nice. The album, which was completely independent of a label, landed at number 3 on the iTunes Hip-Hop Chart. On July 9, 2013, G-Eazy, alongside 2 Chainz, opened for Lil Wayne's "America’s Most Wanted Tour".On December 15, 2013, G-Eazy and Master Chen B performed "Lotta That" from These Things Happen in New York City. On January 15, 2014, G-Eazy announced his "These Things Happen Tour" with MMG's Rockie Fresh, KYLE and Tory Lanez. The tour ran for 40 stops throughout the United States and Canada from February until April 2014.
2014–16: These Things Happen and When It's Dark Out
On June 23, 2014, G-Eazy released his major-label debut album, These Things Happen. The album topped the US Billboard's Hip-Hop/R&B and Top Rap Albums charts, also earning him the number 3 spot on the US Billboard 200 and the Top Digital Albums Chart. The album has sold nearly 265,000 copies to date. On October 21, 2014, Gillum embarked on his sold-out "From the Bay to the Universe" tour. The tour traveled across the globe to countries like Australia and New Zealand. This was his first headlining tour overseas.
During summer of 2015, G-Eazy played some of the main stages at a series of notable music festivals, including Lollapalooza, Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Made in America, and Austin City Limits. With the rise of his music career, Gillum has also taken up in interest in fashion by releasing a collaboration with Rare Panther in the fall of 2015 and being named GQ’s top 10 most stylish at New York Fashion Week last year. Gillum’s sophomore album, When It's Dark Out, was released on December 4, 2015. On January 6th, 2016, G-Eazy launched his second world tour. The tour will see G-Eazy cross the United States, Europe, and Australia. His single "Me, Myself & I", in collaboration with Bebe Rexha, peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In May 2016, G-Eazy confirmed that he would be featured on Britney Spears' upcoming new single, "Make Me (Oooh)". The two reportedly filmed a music video for the song in early June 2016, which was confirmed via social media.
After graduating from Berkeley High School, Gillum moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University. While enrolled, he took classes on marketing, production, and business. In 2011, Gillum graduated from Loyola University with a BA in Music Industry Studies.