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The Ballad of Brink Gzz

I’ve finally returned from my yearly vacation out west. During this last trip to Los Angeles, California, I had quite the surreal experience. No, it wasn’t some chance meetup with a celebrity, nor was it locking eyes with some LA beauty in passing, but rather a conversation that I had with a young man, maybe in his early 20’s, at Joe’s Pizza on Hollywood Blvd. This is the brief story of my encounter with the one and only Brink Gzz (Pronounced “Jeez”).

After a night of perusing the wares of three different Hollywood bars, I was about “California-ed out.” My wallet was exhausted from paying for eight dollar beers, my feet were sore from walking in the tight shoes I was wearing, and I was mentally worn out from meeting so many different people (friends of friends, some cool, some not- you know how it goes). At the end of the evening, which was just a little after midnight, because LA shuts down early, my new friends and I found ourselves at Joe’s Pizza, a New York-Style pizzeria on Hollywood Blvd. It was here that, as I sat at the bar, burning the top of my mouth on a scalding oversized slice, that I met Brink Gzz.

He sat in the corner, alone, munching on his BBQ chicken covered piece of ‘za. For some reason, he spoke to me. He asked me if I was from New York. I lied and told him Chicago, because I didn’t want to explain to him where Beloit, Wisconsin was. From what my slightly inebriated mind could decipher, he told me that he was from The Big Apple, and that he had moved out here with some of his family to make it in the rap game. He had short dreadlocks, stood at only about 5’6, and had a tattoo of a spider web on his left cheek. This piqued my interest, because I have no idea how to make it in this aforementioned “rap game” and in my white collar world, a face tattoo is not the way to go about winning any kind of game.

I first asked about his support system. He responded by telling me how his “people” take care of him, and he can just focus on rapping, and, apparently, eating large slices of pizza. I then pressed him about his face tattoo, because I had figured that we had established a good enough rapport to ask such personal questions. I asked, “Why the face tattoo? Why the spider web?” His answer was simple: the tattoo is part of who he is, and he is Brink Gzz. This persona had overtaken his entire being, he was no longer Brian, or Tom, or whatever his name was before, he now was Brink Gzz, rapping sensation. My final question before we left the pizza stand was about his rapping style, and his answer was everything that I had hoped it would be: “My style is me.”

Maybe this guy is crazy, maybe he’s full of it, sure. But what if Brink Gzz has some insight into succeeding in America? This man/kid moved from coast to coast, accepted some help from his support system, created his own unique product, and believed in it so much that he got it tattooed on his face. At the end of the day, we only have one life to live, so we may as well attack it as hard as our new friend has.

As for his music? It certainly is unique.

Good luck out there, Brink Gzz.


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