By Quinn Donnell
When my dad — gray-haired and shaped by a lifetime of listening to Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and the Rolling Stones — hears hip hop music, he always says the same thing: “I could have made this!”
In my dad’s middle-aged mind, hip hop is just some guy talking nonsense over noises that were made on a computer. When he listens to hip hop, he misses the way Dylan makes him think, “how can this guy be making all of this music with just one guitar?” He misses Taylor’s seemingly perfect picking techniques, and he misses the way the Stones use a perfect combination of instrumentals and vocals to create an enthralling piece of music.
It’s important to realize that my dad’s current attitude towards hip hop encumbers any interest he has in familiarizing himself with new acts. Because of this, I like to take the challenge of introducing him to today’s most talented hip hop artists — those who adopt musical elements established by past artists and combine those elements with modern styles of music and contemporary techniques. Based on these criteria, my latest pitch has been the Oakland-based G-Eazy.
G-Eazy recently gained national recognition after announcing a fall 2012 tour with Hoodie Allen. Like Allen, Eazy often samples artists of genres other than his own. In doing so, he is able to create a sound that expresses his musical intelligence as well as his ability to create unique, efficacious music. For example, Eazy’s “Runaround Sue” samples vocals from the 1950s pop group Dion & the Belmonts, bringing about a sense of pop’s past while introducing its future as well.
Eazy’s music also incorporates elements of today’s indie pop/rock music. By sampling artists such as Tennis, Grizzly Bear, and LCD Soundsystem on his debut mixtape, The Endless Summer (which you can download for free at G-Easy’s site), G-Eazy creates a style of music that stands out in today’s hip hop game. While many artists are utilizing drum machines and synth-made melodies, Eazy takes his music in another direction.
G-Eazy is currently touring throughout the U.S. as an opening act for Hoodie Allen. Eazy will make a headlining appearance in Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Lost Horizon. The show will surely display the MC’s ability to connect with a young audience that is always looking for up-and-coming artists.