Rapper Tattoos: An Absurdly Detailed Investigation - DJBooth

Rapper Tattoos: An Absurdly Detailed Investigation

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Considering he has has more ink than Squidword, I really think Nathan should be conducting this absurdly detailed investigation; I mean who better to tell us all about rapper tattoos than a guy with more tattoos than any rapper? Though I don't have a tattoo as of yet, I have stared at enough pictured of Kat Von D and one time I saw J.R. Smith's girlfriend so I think I can handle it. Rappers are always expressing themselves through spoken word, but sometimes that just isn't enough; they must also do so by repeatedly piercing his or her skin with tiny, ink filled needles. Whether it be the name of a record label, a deceased family member, or an ice cream cone, rappers have tatted it all. I mean even Drake is getting tats now (as long as someone is there to hold his hand and they get frozen yogurt after). So, lets take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of rapper tats.

Speaking of ice cream cones, really, the only place to start is Gucci Mane. He might not have the most tattoos (well..mabe he does), but what he lacks in quantity he more than makes up for in quality. In fact, his most famous tattoo might just be the most legendary in all of hip-hop. You might think getting a tattoo of an ice cream cone shooting lightening bolts on your face is too much, but that just means you have never had Chunky Monkey or Cinnamon Bun ice cream. It is also the perfect way to distract your from his otherwise less than stellar face tats. Really though, this all bout Gucci's love of ice cream; nobody loves ice cream more than Gucci...nobody.

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While Gucci holds the title for best face tattoo (I guess he needed to take the heat of his EA Sports neck tattoo), he isn't the only one with some facial art. Of course I'm sure you know Weezy has a few tear drops here and there and one that looks suspiciously like a penis, but the one that always baffles me is his "fear god" tattoo.

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What is the science behind that? Can you really tat your eye lid, wouldn't it have the potential to poke your eye? I'm no doctor, but I can tell you that getting poked with a needle on the eye probably isn't good. King of the unconventional placement, Weezy also has a tat on his inner lip; kinda dig the simple smiley face design but the placement makes me want to die. There are a few more notable facial tats (because rappers) and Birdman even tatted his bald head, but the only other one that really matters is The Game's. Apparently it started out as a butterfly, but has since been changed into a tribute to his hometown.

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Face tats are cool absurd, but there isn't enough space to really show everyone what is going on under the skin. Take Wiz Khalifa, his chest has more art than the Louvre, but the one that stands out the most to me is the giant 412, a tribute to his Pittsburgh roots; just showin' up Big K.R.I.T like it ain't no thing. Also, if you look closely, he has his right nipple tattooed like it's pierced; tattoo game inception.

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Though he might be new to the game, YG is tatted up like a hip-hop veteran. Highlights of his ink include the Spitfire logo (which I haven't seen since I was in middle school) and a few religious tats including the obvious, giant cross.

Soulja Boy has quite a few

; definitely more than you would expect, and a few large ones as opposed to alot of small ones, but I refuse to acknowledge him as a rapper so he can't take the title. No, the award for best chest art definitely goes to Travis Barker. Sure he isn't a rapper, but he has worked with quite a few, and puts even the hardest of rappers to shame with his ink.

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While the chest seems to be the main canvas the back usually gets a little love, too. There seems to be a theme with the back tattoos where rappers tat their name; like a permanent jersey, I guess? I never saw the appeal of getting your own name tattooed but than again I am inkless so maybe I can't talk...no I can, it doesn't make sense. Especially when you get your name tatted on your forearm like

Slim Thug

. At least these dudes put it on their back.

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Gunplay gets the title because of that Jesus tat. So deep, so poetic, so philosophical. In fact Jesus pulling a gun on the devil is my favorite Bible story. While tattooing Jesus pulling a gun on the devil is about as absurd as a tattoo can get, not all of them are ridiculous. In fact, getting a tattoo of a deceased love one is a great way to remember them. No sarcasm here, I actually like the idea. We all know about Em's

Hayley tattoo

, but I think the one he has to commemorate Proof is just as noteworthy.

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Or how about a video of Rick Ross getting Biggie tattooed on his back. I'm pretty sure he could have gotten a life size tattoo of B.I.G and still had room for his Wing Stop tattoo, but it's good he kept it small. I wonder if the ink was fried chicken grease?

The sentiment is nice, but I think it works better on a more personal level. Like Snoop's Nate Dogg tattoo.

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Finally, we have to end with the most famous most legendary hip-hop tattoo ever. Gucci's is noteworthy because it is just so fucking absurd, but this one has received cult status, you know when you have white people everywhere  (and apparently Rihanna) writing "thug life" on their stomach you have a famous tattoo. Take us out Pac.

So there you have it. Obviously, this is not every famous rapper tat ever (so please share your favorites below), but I do have things to do that don't involve looking up tattoos of rappers like you know, life, so we gotta end it at some point. They say tattoos are like an addiction, but for the life of me I will never, ever understand getting an ice cream cone tatted on your face. If you can name one logical, sensible reason why I'll do it...yeah, I didn't think so.

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