G-Eazy Talks Halsey and Cardi B Collaborations, New Orleans Dive Bar Show & More

Halsey, G-Eazy, Cardi B
Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Bud Light

 G-Eazy surprises fans at Blue Nile on Aug. 30, 2017 in New Orleans with an intimate performance of his new album, joined by Halsey and Cardi B. 

On Wednesday (Aug. 30), G-Eazy took the stage at Blue Nile, a longtime New Orleans live music bar. The performance marked the latest stop on Bud Light's Dive Bar Tour that has already delivered performances from John Mayer and Lady Gaga

The location was an ideal one for the rapper, who calls New Orleans his "second home" and attended Loyola University before his career took off. "Anything back in New Orleans is definitely nostalgic," G-Eazy, born Gerald Gillum, tells Billboard while calling in between soundcheck and the show. "I really played my first shows of my life and learned to perform here. I learned how to work a stage and how to connect with a crowd, it all started here."

Aside from returning to his roots as a performer, G-Eazy says he also loves the intimacy of performing in a smaller venue. "When you’re literally staring at the person right in front of you, you’re connecting with them on a personal level," he suggests. "I even jump into the crowd sometimes and perform with them, sing into the mic with them and share the experience with them. It’s a different kind of energy."

Halsey and Cardi B -- the surprise guests of the night -- brought the energy up another notch as did the brass backing band, an appropriate addition considering the New Orleans atmosphere. Halsey and Cardi B are featured on G-Eazy's upcoming album The Beautiful and Damned, which he recorded at his home in Los Angeles; Halsey sings on "Him & I" and Cardi on "No Limit," both of which were debuted live at the show and saw G-Eazy perform with each artist for the first time. "That raw connection between the two performers is something you can’t fully plan," he admits. "You just go with it and get lost in that moment and feed off of each other."

The day before the gig (Aug. 29), G-Eazy held a pop-up shop at Gerry's to meet with fans and promote the Dive Bar Tour. He says he takes inspiration from the city he's in whenever he does a pop-up shop, and reveals that though he's done one in New Orleans before, this was the first time he's had it in a bar. "Every time we do a pop-up shop, we try to paint a picture like you’re stepping into my world, my environment," he relates. "Basically a reflection of my interests and what I’m about."

As for the upcoming album -- there's no release date yet -- G-Eazy says he "basically became a hermit for the last year." How will it differ from his previous projects? "It shows the evolution of Gerald, as probably every album that I ever do will," he says. "Albums serve as paragraphs in an artist’s autobiography."

A livestream of the Dive Bar Tour performance can be viewed here, and exclusive merchandise from the pop-up shop can be purchased here.