Opportunity Cost – Tattoo Ideas, Artists and Models

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by christina lee

photos of chad griffith

style by anastasia walker

grooming by jenny sauce

At first, life in Gerryland – what G-Eazy calls his Hollywood Hills villa, with its reclaimed wooden beams – isn’t quite what I imagined. For our Zoom call in October, her slicked back hair is tucked under a black Oakland Athletics cap. And when he asks an out of the box chef to top his late lunch with “lots of sesame seeds,” that lunch turns out to be a bowl of instant ramen. His favorite toppings are cayenne pepper, sriracha, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper and Tony Chachere’s original Creole seasoning. “I easily cracked an egg in it,” he said, like someone who knew this trick before it was called a “ramen hack.”

But the multi-platinum rapper behind “Me, Myself & I”, “Him & I” and “No Limit” also sits his wicker dining chair in front of a wall-sized graphic ink artwork. of Los Angeles artist Kai, a friend of his. Kai’s signature 3D stickman, “If,” is supported by a heart-shaped balloon with one arm and tied to the ground by a money bag with the other – “pulled between love and success,” explains G-Eazy. The piece is instantly recognizable as this is what G-Eazy inked on his left rib cage, after reflecting on the personal sacrifice he has made as a public figure throughout his career.

photos of chad griffith

For those who haven’t personally witnessed his rise to Oakland, where born artist Gerald Earl Gillum grew up, G-Eazy’s success story began with his 2014 debut on a major, “These Things Happen.” “. It was then that he first discovered how to portray himself as a tragic hero, like a “Modern Gatsby chasing Daisy”. Hometown hero E-40 has become a noted collaborator and co-signer. His self-taught success saw dividends the music industry couldn’t ignore, such as selling Phish in the first week no matter what anyone thought of his artistry, reputation as a rap or its whiteness.

G-Eazy never set out to revisit this era, much less through an album sequel like “These Things Happen Too”, released in September. “I cringe when I listen to the first one,” he says. “I have a lot of trouble listening to any of my music once it’s out. I feel like I’m always trying to improve myself, in all technical ways because that’s all you can really control. But, as someone who recently had a yin-yang symbol tattooed on his elbow, he can’t help but focus on the dualities of life. Like being torn between love and success. Or how the aftermath of fame can seem more glamorous than they actually are.

“From the Bay to the Universe” became his personal slogan in 2014. “[‘These Things Happen Too’] is the spacecraft that lands at home, ”says G-Eazy. “A little banged up and bruised, but with stories to tell.”

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At first glance, “Everything is Everything” with Goody Grace – the first song G-Eazy recorded for his new album – is a story we’ve heard before from him, about how the celebrity sabotages the relationships he should maintain. But the lines “Let’s get lost, you take to heart the words I a sang you / I suppose heights like these don’t have the same sight” are a throwback to 2014, when G-Eazy presented Devon Baldwin , the eventual lead singer behind “Heights Like These” —on the platinum record “Let’s Get Lost”. (He and Baldwin have dated before, although they still collaborate to this day, including on “Thes Things Happen Too.”) “It was there that I started to lay out the concept of this journey of reflection that I wanted to build with this album, ”he said.

This journey wasn’t made completely evident when G-Eazy kicked off this album era. In the spring of 2020, he released “Still Be Friends”, a bawdy rap song starring Tory Lanez and Tyga where he brags about “Playboy mansion? I’m home. ”The clip – which G-Eazy said was the last to get a film license in LA before the pandemic – picks up where“ BET Uncut ”left off, more than a year later. While both versions feature pornstars like Nia Nacci and Mia Melano, Pornhub hosts an uncensored version with 3 million views, in addition to the 37 million clean version on YouTube.

At the time, G-Eazy presented this simultaneous release as a wise business decision, citing a spike in COVID-19 traffic to adult sites “with everyone having to stay inside.” Behind the scenes, however, he views “Still Be Friends” as an artifact from before.

“At that point, I was still planning on releasing the album, because one version was pretty much done and ready to release,” G-Eazy says, “but when all of a sudden the world stops, you reassess. You slow down your plans to release an album because you don’t know what world you’re releasing it into. The thing about ‘Still Be Friends’ is that it’s a club song, but if there isn’t a club for a song like this to thrive… its chances of succeeding are different.

G-Eazy has to remember what the lockdown finally got him. First, he calls the pandemic a period of “forced reflection”, before turning back slightly. “COVID has offered a lot of time for self-reflection. The more I dig into the process of this album, the more you start to uncover these layers and take a look at the decisions you’ve made throughout your career and life, think about some of the consequences.

photos of chad griffith

photos of chad griffith

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“These things are happening too” could easily have been a victory lap, none other than fan service. The new album features a trailer narrated by Marshawn Lynch, who G-Eazy texts with after not being able to afford tickets to the Oakland Raiders growing up. He returns with artists like former tourmate Lil Wayne in “When You’re Gone” and E-40 in “Now & Later”, except that now he looks more like a rap industry peer than to someone who needs cosign. In “Speed”, he interpolates Cake’s 1996 song “The Distance”, and it’s better than he’s allowed to be. Yes, in the Instagram age, there is a “Tumblr Girls” sequel.

But the scars of battle are what make the album compelling. The fifth track “Wanna Be Myself” features a before-after image: “I started this shit 10 years ago, it was just me and my manager / on the road, doing any show, we were fulfilling this timeline / but Matty’s married now and it’s a whole “different chapter / while I’m in Gerryland I’m still here as a bachelor.”

Compared to the anonymous sex that usually animates his music, “These Things Happen Too” becomes specific. He has called himself a cheater on several occasions, which stands out, if only because of the accusation ex-partner Halsey had written on the walls of their 2019 “Saturday Night Live” performance. In his “Breakdown” video, he and star artist Demi Lovato literally face the headlines they’ve made in their dating lives of past arrests, drug convictions and addictions.

The biggest accounts of the album with fame are directed to the late Mac Miller. The second verse of “Time” is a letter to the rapper dated seven months after his death in 2018 from an accidental overdose. He admits he used to envy Miller’s career: “See us two white boys rapping, I felt like they would always compare us / except you would sell shows around the world, from Oakland to Paris. “

“There is a bit of jealousy and competitiveness that comes naturally in our industry,” says G-Eazy. “Most of us are alpha types. We live lives that revolve around us; teams of people work tirelessly behind the scenes to raise you higher. We are all motivated and we know how rare and fickle success is in this industry. But he was someone who was there for me as a friend.

photos of chad griffith

photos of chad griffith

As sweet as that feeling is, that’s also an understatement, compared to what he’s rapping. “What I was going through with Ash, you went through it with Ariana / and you watched me daily, helped me deal with this drama / come to think of it, we talked every day last summer / You were like a big brother, crazy that you are younger. As a listener, he hopes you can google the rest of the way: how they both dated pop stars who became their muses, before their breakups do not also become public.

I keep finding different ways of asking how G-Eazy armed himself to confess – to face the music, to name names.

” It’s reality. It’s not fiction, ”I say of the“ Breakdown ”video.

“But it is a reality that we cannot hide,” he said.

“You didn’t have to be that blunt in ‘Breakdown’ or ‘Time’,” I continued.

“I think the parallels between Demi and me provided the opportunity to be downright honest and vulnerable, and that’s sometimes a very important and powerful thing to do in music.”

Each time, G-Eazy said it was just a matter of art, what I realize just now is an answer in itself: “Most of us share very organized versions of our lives on social media. social. I think I’m better than that. I am able to do more than just share a cute photo and what I would like the world to see me.

photos of chad griffith

photos of chad griffith

***

In “Wanna Be Myself”, G-Eazy remembers a question that someone (he won’t say who) asked him two years ago: “What do you have besides music? who makes you happy? By “outside of music” the questioner clearly meant “outside of work”, which may be easy to consider for people who work just to live, compared to those who live to work.

Leaning over his now empty ramen bowl, G-Eazy looks sheepish as he remembers spinning this question around in his head, feeling compelled to find an answer, as when a well-meaning parent asks when you are considering starting a business. family .

“When you work as hard on something that is your job as I do in music, and you love it as much as I do with music, it becomes intrinsically linked to who you are,” he says. “It’s the love of your life, it’s your job, it’s your obsession. It’s the bane of your existence when things aren’t going well. And it’s the best drug the world can give you when the going is good. There were times I had to ask myself, “Yo, do you have any hobbies, or anything else that you devote a part of your life to that is important, it’s not music ? Because it’s fundamentally healthy, I think, to have a balanced life. But it’s something I’m working on.

Yet, as indecisive as it may seem in person, “These Things Happen Too” ends on a strong defensive note. On a boombap beat in “Gerald,” starring Anthony Hamilton, G-Eazy speaks to anyone who takes his success for granted or wants to sound out about what they would do differently: “At every stop, get on and off. off the train / I hate the way I live, I criticize my actions / I bought a house from moms, and the city was very proud of it / I booked the next day, I did things with which you have a problem.

No matter how many times he appears as a tortured soul, his decision is made. He’d rather be torn between love and success than not being successful at all.

photos of chad griffith

photos of chad griffith

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