G-Eazy is the latest artist to enter the NFT space. The multi-dimensional rapper/producer has teamed up with digital artist Dzanar and Quincy Jones-backed OneOf for “The Geralds,” a new collection that showcases his many different sides and hobbies, from his mountain persona to the skateboarder. And fans who purchase the NFTs will have the chance to earn VIP perks, from dining with G-Eazy to hanging out with him in Vegas.
As G-Eazy explained when we talked about it, it’s important for him to share the different sides of his personality and be open with his fans. When he delivered the song “Angel” last month for his mother, who died of cancer last November, he was blown away by the response.
I spoke with G-Eazy about the NFT collection, the genius of Danny Elfman’s Coachella set, why he chose to team up with OneOf for his first foray into NFTs and why none of his fans should be surprised if he does a country album in his mountain cabin one day.
Steve Baltin: Since the last time I saw you in the pit at Coachella, how amazing was that Danny Elfman set?
G-Eazy: Oh my god, man. It was definitely my favorite set of the weekend. I’m a big, big Danny Elfman fan. And I love the way he combines his stuff.
Baltin: Speaking of combining your stuff, that’s what you do with “The Geralds”. There are all these different cool things that people can get with NFTs. So speak for yourself about the possibility of merging your relationship with your fans in a physical space with the virtual world.
G-Eazy: I’ve always had a very special relationship with my fans. I feel like early in my career that’s what got me rolling, the very first hardcore fans, coming to show after show after show on tour and through meet and greets over and over again . And I just felt like connection was still key. But in terms of the concept behind the Geralds, that was just the first thing I thought of. Given the wide range of my personality and my identity and the different things that I’m into, and the fans that have followed me over the last decade of my career, know that I’m into that stuff. So I just wanted to find a way to express those different layers in that way.
Baltin: Do you feel like the NFT is just you and as you become more well known and get older you can be more comfortable being open?
G-Eazy: Absolutely. It was definitely about embracing all of these different elements and different parts of my personality and myself and sharing all of that. And everyone who’s been on the journey with me over the last decade has been able to see those different sides and different ways.
Baltin: What do you want people to see about who you are in this project?
G-Eazy: There are layers upon layers upon layers of Geralds, [chuckle] and seeing the different ways it resonates and connects with different people is always interesting. I feel like the mountain man Gerald was perhaps the most popular. So I have a cabin, it has always been in my family. My grandparents actually helped build it. There’s never been a TV inside, there’s no Wi-Fi. It’s kind of the place I go to hide and take a break from reality. So yeah, that wasn’t the biggest part of G-Eazy that’s still being streamed and shared, that’s for sure.
Baltin: Do you think it became the most popular because people weren’t aware of that side of you, so it’s like the most unknown and surprising?
G-Eazy: I think it could definitely be possible.
Baltin: What others have been popular so far?
G-Eazy: Snowboarder Gerald, for sure. [chuckle] I guess the identity of who I am when I’m in the mountains is popular.
Baltin: So you really got to the bottom of that by showing a lot of different sides of yourself?
G-Eazy: Sure. But it’s always something that I’ve tried to do in one way or another throughout my career. When I make an album, it’s usually a big, eclectic experience. It’s a deep look at the multiple layers of my personality. I would say that I am quite far from being a one-dimensional artist.
Baltin: Because you have this relationship with your fans, was it important for you to show them this side of you?
G-Eazy: Whatever creative project I’ve put my name to or been involved in, I think it’s important to explore deeply and really express yourself. And since the beginning of my career, I’ve always been very involved in most visual things. I used to design my own album covers. I used to design my own product. So yeah, we wanted to go the nine yards with that for sure.
Baltin: At the time you started posting this, was there any part of it that was the most fun for you to reveal?
G-Eazy: I would say the whole experience in general, and finally diving into that space. I do not pretend to be an expert in this area. But I’ve been very curious and open-minded about it in general. So for me, it’s been this really fun learning experience in general, just getting my feet wet and taking my first leap into this space with this technology and this avenue of connection. In the end, it’s just another form of art, at least aesthetically. And a different way of expressing yourself and connecting with your audience and finding those connections and connections. But then on the tech side, I think it’s mostly something that interests me intimately and excites me about the possibilities and the potential for all technology to evolve from here.
Baltin: If you’re a musician, I think everything you do creatively outside of the music feeds back into the music at some point. I’m not saying you’re going to go make a country album in the mountains, and I’m not saying you won’t either.
G-Eazy: Yeah, it’s not out of the question. [chuckle] And you and I have been talking about it for years and years and years, but I’ve always been fascinated by the intersections of different cultures and the ways of combining eclectic influences in different worlds and bridging the gap and bringing them together to create something unique and interesting. I think that’s at the heart of what I’ve always aspired to do creatively.
Baltin: Is there one of those VIP perks you’re most looking forward to sharing with your fans?
G-Eazy: I think all of them offer this depth closer to my world, and this access to me, because my music is very revealing and vulnerable. So there’s a whole other side to having a conversation with me or experiencing something in person. I think the chance to have dinner with a fan, sometimes I like to have long conversations with the fans to pick their brains and see [them] give feedback on new music before it comes out or see what they connect or identify with, and what they like about certain songs, because it just helps me understand how to connect more with my audience .
Baltin: What was the last thing you heard from a fan that really stuck with you?
G-Eazy: I think of a lot of feedback I got on my last release, this song called “Angel,” which I did in honor of my mother. Hearing how it connected and resonated with different people, whether or not they can apply it to the loss of a parent or not, but just hearing different ways people relate to this song. The point is that ultimately we are all human beings, we are all vulnerable creatures who live and feel and experience so much and have a sense of feeling. So when you share your truth as an artist, it opens the space for that connection.
Baltin: What made them the right people to work with on this project?
G-Eazy: How sustainable is their technology and how inclusive and accessible do they make it? Because that’s one thing I wanted to do is lower the barrier to entry and make it easier for people to get involved. As someone who’s not an expert, I wanted to partner with a company that understood that, I think because it’s such a new technology in this fast-paced world that we live in right now, for people who are trying to find a way to get involved, I think accessibility and inclusiveness are key.
Baltin: What’s coming out the rest of 2022?
G-Eazy: I’m just working on new music, excited by the challenge of figuring out where I want to take my career from here.
Baltin: Country record in the mountains, we nailed it.
G-Eazy: Yeah, [chuckle] you got it.
0:16:29.9 S1: Alright, cool dude, anything you want to add that I didn’t ask you?