Illustration by Fintan O’Sullivan
I really want to like G-Eazy. He’s from the Bay, is a Berkeley High School alumni, and seems like a cool guy. While he has some good singles, his albums leave something to be desired. The Beautiful and Damned, his third studio album, is no different. It has a few decent bangers, but is lacking heavily in some other areas, much like G-Eazy as a rapper. G-Eazy has a few things going for him. His voice is raspy and cool, his beat selection is good, and his song ideas are usually decent. However, his flow and lyrics are about as plain as a slice of Wonder Bread. The Beautiful and Damned is an extension of him.
Throughout the album, G-Eazy’s flow stays mostly the same. Some rappers are able to pull this off by rapping with huge amounts of charisma and energy – Lil Pump comes to mind – but G-Eazy is not one of these. His flow is indescribably basic. Fourth graders rapping to beats banged out on lunch tables have more intricate flows. His unchanging flow makes the songs blend together, and at an hour and fourteen minutes, this album feels like it goes on forever. Additionally, he rhymes in the most uninteresting way possible: there isn’t a single slant rhyme on this album that I can think of. For example, on his song “That’s A Lot”, G-Eazy raps: “Cash, cash, cash / I just took her home I’m ‘bout to smash.” In this single example, everything wrong with Eazy’s rhyming is clear. Rather than phrase this uniquely, he talks about money and then throws a filler bar in there to rhyme in the most boring way possible. I think I fell asleep at the third “cash.” I can feel myself getting dumber listening to it.
The Beautiful and Damned isn’t lyrically compelling at all either. The album has a really cool idea behind it – relating his life to the book The Beautiful and Damned, while exploring hedonism, internal duality, and the perils of celebrity. If pulled off well, this album could’ve been a masterpiece. Unfortunately, G-Eazy manages to tackle these personal topics in the most cliche, corny way possible. An example of this is on the song “Him and I” where he raps: “Only one who gets me, I’m a crazy f*ckin’ Gemini.” The song – and the album overall – seems to be written by an angsty thirteen year old. It’s trying to be deep but ends up being shallow as a puddle. One song that really suffers from poor lyrics is “Summer in December.” The beat is moody and interesting, and the idea around the song isn’t horrible – G-Eazy raps about how Los Angeles is always sunny and seems like a paradise, but ultimately destroys people. He takes this potentially great song and completely ruins it with bland, generic lyrics. What could’ve been a revealing song was turned into a whining pity party.
The Beautiful and Damned is an album that had great potential – good beats, a decent concept, interesting features – but it was absolutely destroyed by G-Eazy’s mind numbingly boring flow and garbage lyrics. There is no point in listening to this. It’s the most bland, generic album I have ever reviewed for the Jacket. Any aspect of this album that you like, I guarantee that there is a rapper out there doing it better. Listening to this album is like eating a saltine – if there’s nothing else, go for it, but if you’re looking for substance, this isn’t for you.