By Hayden Wright
G-Eazy’s overnight success took years to build: The 27-year-old from Oakland, California began gaining notice in his late teens, collaborating with East Bay Area peers like the Cataracts and Lil B. As he’s steadily raised his profile since 2008, the rapper and producer has leveraged collaborations as milemarkers along the way. 2016 marked the pinnacle of that trajectory (so far): a featured spot on Britney Spears’ lead single from Glory, “Make Me…” —not a shabby followup to his own hit collaboration with Bebe Rexha. As Eazy moves forward, booking high-profile studio partners should get distinctively…eazier.
Here are some of the rapper’s best collaborative efforts:
“Make Me…” by Britney Spears: Britney’s latest comeback single got the punch-up it needed with G-Eazy’s assistance: Think of how much stronger Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” is thanks to Ty Dolla $ign. Similarly, Eazy’s appearance on “Make Me…” turns an otherwise catchy pop track into a top-20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Me, Myself & I” (featuring Bebe Rexha). While Eazy’s special-guest collaborations elevate major stars’ material, it’s Bebe Rexha’s hook that takes this track to the next level. It took both artists’ careers up a notch and gave life to the #solorideuntilidie hashtag you’ll never see the end of.
“You & Me” by Marc E. Bassey. Despite a title similar to “Me, Myself & I,” the tracks couldn’t be more different. This collab with singer-songwriter Bassey is a reggae-pop throwback with a summery sheen. G-Eazy breaks up the bouncy monotony with a great verse, and the duo play to each other’s strengths. We can’t wait to see what Eazy does with his next group of pronouns.
“You Don’t Own Me” by Grace. The last time you heard “You Don’t Own Me,” it was covered by the trio of Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, and Bette Midler in The First Wives Club. This grace cover lends a moody, ominous atmosphere in the style of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, turning the 1963 Lesley Gore recording on its spunky, defiant head. Eazy is there every step of the way, selflessly filling in the blanks for this “you” to whom Grace is referring.
“Drifting” feat. Chris Brown and Tory Lanez. This list is (so far) mostly composed of pop collaborations with a nod to hip-hop. On “Drifting,” G-Eazy proves he can anchor a mainstream hip-hop track and court big-name collaborators like Chris Brown to cosign. This song has whispers of Drake, telling a breakup story with sophistication, vulnerability and street-smarts.