American rapper G-Eazy. Courtesy Bobby Bruderle
American rapper G-Eazy. Courtesy Bobby Bruderle

RedfestDXB 2017:‘You really have to work hard to know who you are’, says rapper G-Eazy



It’s not enough to rely on creative talent alone to make it in the music industry. As the experience of RedFestDXB headliner G-Eazy – real name Gerald Gillum – proves, it takes a healthy dose of self-belief and a lot of hard work to stand out in the saturated hip-hop genre.

In the space of eight years, the 27-year-old American rapper has built an impressive career, progressing from a promising underground act to major-label artist, working with big names ranging from hip-hop stalwarts Wiz Khalifa and P Diddy to pop star Britney Spears.

His latest album, When It's Dark Out (2015), was an international hit, delivering US chart-topper Me, Myself and I and the top-10 banger Order More.

Now G-Eazy will make his UAE debut on February 2, on the opening night of two-day festival RedFestDXB at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. He will perform on a bill that includes Jamaican dance-hall star Sean Paul, Aussie pop twins The Veronicas, and Sit Still, Look Pretty American singer, Daya.

“For me to go all the way to Dubai is just something out of this world,” says G-Easy. “It will be the first time performing in this part of the world – the fact there are fans out there is amazing.”

You are still touring on the back of When It’s Dark Out. After more than 200 shows, what has being on the road taught you?

Just how big the world is. It is one thing to see something on the map, but to actually be there and walk around, meet people and see the fans just shows how crazy it is that music can travel that far.

When It's Dark Out is a tight album. It's fun and celebratory, but there is a deeper message that success comes at a price.

Absolutely. The theme came to me organically because that’s what I discovered first-hand. You experience that tax that comes with this work, and how it affects your personal life when it comes to relationships, the family and friends.

You and your team built a following independently and then a major label (Sony Music Entertainment) came calling. Is this a model you recommend to aspiring artists?

I always think that you, as an artist, ultimately define what you do. It all comes back to your message and how much you want to put into it. A major label can open doors, maximise your operation and put muscle to it – but it all comes back to you as the artist.

How do you get to the level where a major label will call?

You just have to make the music connect. You know, with record labels today, there is no such thing as artist development, so you really have to work hard to know who you are as an artist, how you want to sound, what your style is and what makes you different. Once you know that, then you put the work in and take your work where it needs to go.

Last year, you recorded with Britney Spears and performed with the likes of P Diddy, Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa. Do you feel you have finally arrived after years underground?

That was insane and exciting. I am not jaded – I still get star-struck and I am still in awe of these people. To be in the circles of people that I look up to is an honour.

What’s the best career advice you have received?

That would come from Snoop Dogg. He told me to always stay humble and gracious – that is that way that I will stick around.

• G-Eazy will perform on the opening night of RedFestDXB on February 2, at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Tickets start at Dh395 from Virgin Megastores and www.ticketmasteruae.ae

sasaeed@thenational.ae

Friday’s fixture

6.15pm: Al Wahda v Hatta

6.15pm: Al Dhafra v Ajman

9pm: Al Wasl v Baniyas

9pm: Fujairah v Sharjah

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Mountain Boy

Director: Zainab Shaheen

Starring: Naser Al Messabi

Rating: 3/5

The past Palme d'Or winners

2018 Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda

2017 The Square, Ruben Ostlund

2016 I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach

2015 DheepanJacques Audiard

2014 Winter Sleep (Kış Uykusu), Nuri Bilge Ceylan

2013 Blue is the Warmest Colour (La Vie d'Adèle: Chapitres 1 et 2), Abdellatif Kechiche, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux

2012 Amour, Michael Haneke

2011 The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick

2010 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat), Apichatpong Weerasethakul

2009 The White Ribbon (Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte), Michael Haneke

2008 The Class (Entre les murs), Laurent Cantet

THREE

Director: Nayla Al Khaja

Starring: Jefferson Hall, Faten Ahmed, Noura Alabed, Saud Alzarooni

Rating: 3.5/5

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Company name: Play:Date

Launched: March 2017 on UAE Mother’s Day

Founder: Shamim Kassibawi

Based: Dubai with operations in the UAE and US

Sector: Tech 

Size: 20 employees

Stage of funding: Seed

Investors: Three founders (two silent co-founders) and one venture capital fund

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

SPEC SHEET: NOTHING PHONE (2a)

Display: 6.7” flexible Amoled, 2412 x 1080, 394ppi, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro, 4nm, octa-core

Memory: 8/12GB

Capacity: 128/256GB

Platform: Android 14, Nothing OS 2.5

Main camera: Dual 50MP main, f/1.88 + 50MP ultra-wide, f/2.2; OIS, EIS, auto-focus, ultra XDR, night mode

Main camera video: 4K @ 30fps, full-HD @ 60fps; slo-mo full-HD at 120fps

Front camera: 32MP wide, f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh; 50% in 30 mins w/ 45w charger

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Google Pay)

Biometrics: Fingerprint, face unlock

I/O: USB-C

Durability: IP54, limited protection from water/dust

Cards: Dual-nano SIM

Colours: Black, milk, white

In the box: Nothing Phone (2a), USB-C-to-USB-C cable, pre-applied screen protector, SIM tray ejector tool

Price (UAE): Dh1,199 (8GB/128GB) / Dh1,399 (12GB/256GB)

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

UAE Team Emirates

Valerio Conti (ITA)
Alessandro Covi (ITA)
Joe Dombrowski (USA)
Davide Formolo (ITA)
Fernando Gaviria (COL)
Sebastian Molano (COL)
Maximiliano Richeze (ARG)
Diego Ulissi (ITAS)

Other simple ideas for sushi rice dishes

Cheat’s nigiri 
This is easier to make than sushi rolls. With damp hands, form the cooled rice into small tablet shapes. Place slices of fresh, raw salmon, mackerel or trout (or smoked salmon) lightly touched with wasabi, then press, wasabi side-down, onto the rice. Serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

Easy omurice
This fusion dish combines Asian fried rice with a western omelette. To make, fry cooked and cooled sushi rice with chopped vegetables such as carrot and onion and lashings of sweet-tangy ketchup, then wrap in a soft egg omelette.

Deconstructed sushi salad platter 
This makes a great, fuss-free sharing meal. Arrange sushi rice on a platter or board, then fill the space with all your favourite sushi ingredients (edamame beans, cooked prawns or tuna, tempura veggies, pickled ginger and chilli tofu), with a dressing or dipping sauce on the side.

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

MATCH INFO

UAE Division 1

Abu Dhabi Harlequins 12-24 Abu Dhabi Saracens

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

THE SPECS

Aston Martin Rapide AMR

Engine: 6.0-litre V12

Transmission: Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic

Power: 595bhp

Torque: 630Nm

Price: Dh999,563

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

THE SPECS

GMC Sierra Denali 1500

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Power: 420hp

Torque: 623Nm

Price: Dh232,500

The specs

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cylinder
Transmission: CVT
Power: 119bhp
Torque: 145Nm
Price: Dh,89,900 ($24,230)
On sale: now

Hamilton’s 2017

Australia - 2nd; China - 1st; Bahrain - 2nd; Russia - 4th; Spain - 1st; Monaco - 7th; Canada - 1st; Azerbaijan - 5th; Austria - 4th; Britain - 1st; Hungary - 4th; Belgium - 1st; Italy - 1st; Singapore - 1st; Malaysia - 2nd; Japan - 1st; United States - 1st; Mexico - 9th