OPPORTUNITY COST
Inked|2021 Holiday Issue
G - EAZY GETS DEEP OVER A BOWL OF INSTANT RAMEN AS WE DISCUSS HIS RECKONINGS WITH FAME, HIS LATEST ALBUM, "THESE THINGS HAPPEN TOO," AND MORE.
CHRISTINA LEE

At first, life at Gerryland—what G-Eazy calls his Hollywood Hills villa, with its reclaimed wood beams—isn’t quite what I imagined. For our Zoom call in October, his trademark slicked-back hair is hidden beneath a black Oakland Athletics cap. And when he instructs a chef outside the frame 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’d easily crack an egg in it,” he says, like someone who knew of this trick before it’d be called a “ramen hack.”

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

For those who didn’t personally bear witness to his ascent in Oakland, where the artist born Gerald Earl Gillum grew up, G-Eazy’s success story began with his 2014 major label debut “These Things Happen.” That’s when he first figured out how to paint himself as a tragic hero, as a “modern Gatsby chasing Daisy.” Hometown hero E-40 became a collaborator and noted cosign. His self-made success saw dividends the music industry couldn’t ignore, like outselling Phish the first week, no matter how anyone felt about his artistry, rap cred or whiteness.

G-Eazy never set out to revisit that time, much less by way of 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 very hard time listening to any of my music once it’s released. I feel like I’m always pushing myself to get better, in every way that is technical, because that is all you can really control.” But, as someone who recently got a yin-yang symbol tattooed on his elbow, he can’t help but fixate on life’s dualities. Like being torn between love and success. Or how the consequences of fame can sound more glamorous than they actually are.

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

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