Hip-hop and tattoos have a somewhat dodgy history. We've laughed at ceratain mistakes and copied the great successes. We remember LL talking about his microphone tattoo and Gucci Mane filling the pages of gossip rags with his curious ice cream cone tattoo. We've even seen members of the hip-hop community memorialized through body art.
When good, hip-hop tattoos are explicit signifiers of identity. They match the style of the wearer and speak to personal values. Other times, common designs become linked to specific stars, which give those tattoos new power and incorporate them into hip-hop culture.
There are a few memorable tattoos that didn't make the top fifteen. Eminem's tribute to fallen homie Proof and Aesop Rock's "…MUST WARN OTHERS …MUST NOT SLEEP" are cool. So are some of the pieces on Jim Jones and Cory Gunz. Wayne and Wiz, we know, are well covered.
Tattoos, in the last two decades, have simply become part of the hip-hop aesthetic. To commemorate this phenomenon, here's to hip hop's most iconic ink getting the recognition it deserves.
Check out our collection of The Best Celebrity Tattoos in Hip-Hop.