It is claimed that tattoos have existed since 12,000 BC and their existence in urban culture has drastically increased over the years. This time around on Ink and Urban, I will be showcasing some trendy women on the scene and their iconic tattoos. Make no mistake, the ink-work featured is not just about fashion or cool factor but there are deeper meanings behind each woman’s choice of artistry which makes these pieces even more special.
Kehlani’s Lauryn Hill Homage Tattoo
Kehlani is a talented singer, songwriter and dancer. She is very open about her life, pain, passion, love and a lot more through her creatively crafted music. Aside from this, one can’t help but notice that she has some of the illest tattoos in the game. The tattoo that caught my eye is that of legendary Lauryn Hill’s album cover on her left arm, straight dope! In an interview with Jenesis magazine, Kehlani revealed the reason for getting this tattoo was for it to be a reminder to keep going on and no matter what, to always keep her head up. This is certainly parallel with the core message conveyed in the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album 💽 . Kehlani’s music is soulful and moving. Songs like ‘You Should Be Here’ and ‘Honey’, show that she has a deep connection to the urban man which was one of the most incredible aspects of Lauryn Hill’s music. So it’s great to see Kehlani being inspired and expressing permanent homage to such a talent through ink.
Over the years, Kehlani has revealed some fascinating stories behind her tattoos and their meaning. Mostly correlating to self-expression and documentation of her life’s ups and downs, her body has now become a journal to which her fans admire and learn from. Listening to what she has been through in her walk of life, she has become an inspiration to many across the globe. In another interview with Uforia Lounge, she mentioned how her insecurities as a young woman became her main motivation to get the tattoos. Many young women suffer online bullying and body-conscious insecurities driven by today’s celebrity culture and unrealistic social media. Kehlani turned this around and found confidence by expressing herself through ink. Although this isn’t for everyone, it’s a good example of how a tattoo can be used to express yourself and help people become comfortable in their own skin.
Rihanna’s 1988 tattoo
Now, you know I’m not talking about women and their tattoos if I forget to mention bad girl Riri. Rihanna has countless tattoos which include ‘Thug Life’ on her knuckles, Goddess Isis on her chest, skull on her ankle, gun on her side and this is only mentioning a few 💉.
In terms of style, Rihanna’s ‘1988’ tattoo in gothic font on her ankle looks mad classy. This being her actual birth year, which usually attracts the “is it in case you forget” lines, shows how location is key. This means she has full control of when and to whom she wants to show it to. On this occasion she had it on show but demonstrated mad swag by rocking her Puma Fenty trainers, these are also unisex for those #RihannaNavy fans out there. Rihanna’s tattoo also represents for the 80s movement which was a ‘Golden Age’ for Hip Hop and witnessed the breakout of legends such as N.W.A, Public Enemy, Run D.M.C, LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim the list goes on. This era paved the way for the culture as we know it today.
Nicki Minaj’s Chinese Tattoo
Recently Nicki Minaj nearly broke the internet with her controversial cover on Paper Magazine. The racy image consists of what looks like she was having a ménage à trois all by herself 😶. Amongst many attributes, the image shows off her one and only iconic Chinese character tattoo on her left arm which reads “Shàngdì yŭ nĭ cháng zài”, which translates to “God is always with me”, which is a powerful message for all the Ken and Barbies out there!
Jhené Aiko’s Tattoos of Big Sean’s Face on Her Arm
The talented singer Jhené Aiko confessed her enduring love for her ex, Big Sean by getting his face inked just above her left elbow even though the two are no longer dating which is evidence of the most amicable breakup in history. The pair recently collaborated on a few songs but no news of the two getting back together. Not sure how this will go down with the next but it is certainly dope to see Jhené’s ride or die side. Question is, would you get a tattoo of your ex? Just for the banter, check out how Section Boyz expressed their differing approach to breakups with their song Delete My Number. At some point in the track, the exact lyrics in the song were “tell my ex she can keep my jumper”. Oh well, Jhené feels otherwise 🙌
Bambi and Lil Scrappy’s matching “Boo” tattoos
Who needs a ring when you can commemorate your love in indelible ink as a symbol of commitment? Well, Lil Scrappy and Bambi did just that by getting matching tattoos topped up with the word ‘Boo’. I have to say, Lil Scrappy you are a brave one and I salute you #Truelove 😍.
These two lovebirds are a sensation of the reality tv show ‘Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’ and thanks to ‘Operation Find The Bambi’ Lil Scrappy proclaimed his love for his woman like every real man should!
Eve’s Paw Prints
Eve is a TV personality, rapper, actress and successful fashion designer. Away from this, Eve is widely recognised for the dog-paw prints on her cleavage.
Ruff Ryders had over forty dudes in their rap group and Eve was the only female member. Despite getting the tattoo as a dare, it has become somewhat a symbol of feminine strength amongst her fans and followers.
So it appears a common theme in the ink featured is an expression of inner feelings in a space of time. By letting their thoughts and feelings out in the open, I feel these ladies are empowering others and giving those without, a voice of expression 💉 through tattoos.