G-Eazy, a brash representative of a new breed of teen idols, performed for a capacity audience of adoring fans at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland on Tuesday.
The rapper proclaimed that he was “young, rich and handsome” on his opening selection “Random.” Admirers responded accordingly. G-Eazy was occasionally pelted by undergarments, and his flashy moves elicited synchronized screams of approval.
Born Gerald Gillum in 1989, G-Eazy is touring in support of his second major label album. He proudly proclaimed his allegiance to legendary rappers like Mac Dre from his base in Oakland, Calif., but few in the audience of about 3,000 seemed overly concerned with hip-hop history.
G-Eazy raps with the precision of a TV news anchor over soundscapes that combine electronic dance music and chilly synth-pop. The immediately accessible music is ideal for party-minded young adults who have outgrown the output of boy bands but aren’t yet prepared to embrace more challenging sounds.
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An impressive stage set depicted a grimy street scene. A drummer perched atop a gentlemen’s club, and a DJ was positioned above a seedy motel. The themes of many songs fit the sordid backdrop. “Let’s Get Lost” is about the numbing pleasures of flesh and intoxicants, while “Order More” is an oddly desultory party song.
The renditions of the introspective “Sad Boy” and “Everything Will Be OK” that revealed G-Eazy’s debt to the notoriously sensitive rapper Drake were welcome exceptions to G-Eazy’s impetuousness. His condescending arrogance and artfully constructed insults on songs like “I Mean It” are capable of making Donald Trump blush.
Each of the opening acts joined G-Eazy for a song or two. Marty Grimes, a rapper G-Eazy introduced as “my best friend,” rapped “The Famm” with his childhood pal. Marc E. Bassy sang the hook of “Some Kind of Drug.” The lurid “Lotta That” featured A$AP Ferg, an acclaimed rapper from New York whose incendiary opening set was as consequential as G-Eazy’s was playful.
Veteran Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne observed most of the concert from a seat in the lower balcony, but he gave the young rapper his tacit approval by performing a truncated rendition of “Hood Go Crazy” during G-Eazy’s set.
G-Eazy’s overly generous one-hour-and-40-minute appearance contained at least 30 minutes of padding. Unlike Tech N9ne, G-Eazy doesn’t have a large catalog of memorable material. Yet as an artist who seems fully capable of a prolonged career and the support of loyal fans who are willing to grow with him, G-Eazy may someday find it difficult to squeeze all of his strong material into a two-hour appearance.