Freshman’s tattoo in honor of Kendrick Lamar song encourages positive thinking, self-love

Sofia Ojeda

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Tattoos are a common sight across the St. Edward’s University campus. However, what is uncommon is the story behind each of them.

Brandon Paz, a freshman communication major, has four tattoos, each of which carry a unique story.

His most recent one was done by a local artist at Atomic Tattoos here in Austin, in honor of the cover art for Kendrick Lamar’s album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

“I’ve always known of Kendrick, but after that song came out he became the greatest man on earth,” Paz said.

“I,” a popular song off Lamar’s album is a song about positivity and self-expression inspired by the lack of love on the streets of Compton. Paz was drawn to this song because like many freshmen about to enter a new a new chapter of their life, Paz’s transition period was less than smooth.

“Summer of 2015 was hard because there was a family illness, I was dealing with a harsh breakup, and was just getting over a hard part of my life,” Paz said.

When “To Pimp a Butterfly” came out in March 2015, so did Paz’s idea for his tattoo. The song “I” came out and molded Paz’s current way of thinking. The song reminded him to always love himself, to think about the bigger picture and to remember that at the end of the day positive thinking will triumph over any negativity that might come out of a situation.

“Because the song had such an impact on my life I decided to get it tattooed.. It serves as a reminder that at the end of the day, everything is going to be okay,”Paz said.

While many students may argue that the hardest part of getting a tattoo is the pain, for Paz it is facing repercussions from family members.

“My parents definitely don’t know that I have tattoos.In fact they haven’t seen me shirtless in about two years,” Paz said. “I think they’re actually starting to get a little worried.”

All of Paz’s tattoos are located on the right side of his body, a clever tactic to keep the tattoos off his parent’s radar.

Another significant tattoo for Paz is the wing on his right shoulder, which he got the summer before starting school at St. Edward’s.The wing is a visual and literal representation of a bird flying away from a nest.

“I’m really family oriented, so the wing represents me leaving home and moving onto the next stage of my life,” Paz said.

Like any freshman, the transition into college requires a lot of independence. For Paz, the wing reminds him to be more independent in his decision making and learn to do things on his own.