Face tattoos have become a big thing in the rap scene in recent years. In fact, many of the most famous rappers in the world today have face tattoos.
A face tat is a big statement, and that fact has been acknowledged by many of the artists on this list. More than one of them has talked about getting a face tattoo as a way of forcing them to take their artistic career seriously, since a face tattoo excludes you from certain career paths.
In many cases, these rappers’ face tattoos have a deep meaning that ties in with their music. In some cases, they have revealed the meaning in interviews. In other cases, they have kept it secret and personal.
It is also quite common for rappers to get face tattoos that are inspired by other rappers, or in homage to another rapper after their death.
Apart from the deeply significant face tattoos, there are also several tattoos mentioned on this list whose meaning is simply not that deep!
Let’s jump in and find out about some of the best rappers with face tattoos and what they mean.
Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert is one of the most innovative and exciting artists on the trap scene today. He has numerous tattoos, as well as formerly having a diamond embedded in his forehead.
Uzi Vert’s most interesting tattoo is the word “Faith” on the right side of his forehead. Talking to Fader magazine he explained that he got the tattoo after quitting his job and getting kicked out of his house by his mother. He held the job for just four days.
“I couldn’t do it,” he explained. “I’m not normal. I was in there just thinking, Why am I doing this?… It was like, ‘If I get this face tattoo, I got to focus…I can’t go in nobody’s office with a suit on with this shit on my face. I got to focus on what I want to do.”
He has several Ghanian Akindra symbols, including three in the centre of his lower forehead between his eyebrows, one above his left eyebrow, and a face symbol below his right eye.
He has several small tattoos around his left eye, including a cross, the number “16,” and a large rose by his left ear.
On the right of his forehead he has the words, “By Any Means,” and beneath his right eye the word “LOVER” (which used to say “LOSER”). He also has a rose by his right ear, similar to the one by his left ear.
Inside his lip has the word “LUV,” which is an acronym for Lil Uzi Vert.
XXXTentacion was an innovative young rapper who died before his time, to the shock of his dedicated fanbase.
He had several face tattoos, and in this interview on No Jumper he describes them as “self-explanatory.” It can fairly be said that his tattoos reflect the themes of his art.
X’s most striking, and most revealing face tattoo is the word “Alone” above his right eye. As he explained in an interview, “Alone is the biggest concept for me… People whether they are in relationships or among thousand people, you are still alone. Your lies are not known to the people. Your sins are not known to the people. Nobody knows your story, nobody knows your feelings, and therefore nobody really understands you. Hence, we are all alone.”
Fans of X will know that the themes of isolation and connection come up frequently in XXXTentacion’s discography, which make his “Alone” tattoo seem even more meaningful.
On his right cheek he has the words “DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR” (much like 21 Savage). On a similar theme, he has the word “Loyalty” on his right jawline.
On the top right of his forehead he has the number “17” (the title of his first album). In the centre of his forehead he has a leafless tree, and on either side of his nose, lines pointing inwards.
Beneath his right eye has the word “Numb” – again, a word that is in-keeping with many of the themes addressed in X’s music. He also has the words “BAD” and “VIBES” on his eyelids.
On his left cheek has a small broken heart, and a large clock, as a reminder that “time is valuable.” Considering how X’s life was cut short, this tattoo is especially poignant.
One of the most successful rappers of all time, Lil Wayne arguably led the way in making face tattoos popular amongst rappers.
He has several face tattoos. On the left side of his face, he has the word “Misunderstood,” with nine stars next to it. He has the number “17” beneath the stars, representing the 17th ward of New Orleans where he grew up.
In front of his left ear he has the word “Tune,” which is allegedly a nickname his grandmother gave him. Under his left ear he has the words “Lucky Me,” his favourite Jay-Z song. He has a flower inside his left ear.
Above his right eyebrow he has the words ‘I AM MUSIC,’ and on the corner of his jaw on the right, he has a ‘fleur-de-lis’ symbol of New Orleans. Behind his right ear are the words ‘I AM PIMP.’ To the side of his right eye he has a Deathwish skateboard logo, a heart, and a smiley face.
On his eyelids he has the words ‘Fear’ and ‘God’, with a ‘C’ between his eyebrows. On his chin has an ‘eye of providence.’ He also has four tear drops across his face, which he says represent family members who have died.
Gucci Mane is one of the pioneers of trap music, and one of the most influential rappers in the scene today. He has hundreds of tattoos all over his body, as well as a few iconic face tattoos.
Gucci’s most noticeable face tattoo is a large ice cream cone on his right cheek, and the word “brrr.” Above the ice cream cone there are three lightning bolts.
According to Gucci’s spokesperson Kali Bowyer, the ice cream cone is “a reminder to fans of how he chooses to live his life. Cool as ice. As in ‘I’m so icy, I’ll make ya say Brr.’” Gucci got the tattoo shortly after coming out of a mental health facility in 2011.
On the left side of his face he has a small dove, and three teardrops.
Post Malone has emerged as one of the most popular rappers in recent years, and one of the most successful white rappers of all time. He is well-known for his many face tattoos.
The rapper’s most noticeable face tattoos are the words “Always” and “Tired” beneath his eyes. Above his right eye he has two playing cards – because he likes the game Blackjack – and the words “Stay Away.” He has said that his “Stay Away” tattoo was inspired by Lil Peeps’ “Cry Baby” tattoo (it is written in a similar script, and also above his right eye), and refers to his favourite Nirvana song.
On his right cheek, he has several tattoos – a sword, a hammer, a small bunny, a heart, a smiley face (that accidentally resembles the masked DJ Marshmello), and the letters “DDP” – his daughter’s initials. He also has a large medieval gauntlet and flail from the corner of his jaw to his chin.
On his forehead beneath his hairline, he has a piece of barbed wire. On the left, he a bleeding buzzsaw on his cheek, a red heart above his left eyebrow, and waves on his temple.
The controversial rapper 6ix9ine has one of the most distinctive and striking aesthetics in the whole of rap, with his brightly coloured hair and numerous face tattoos making his appearance unforgettable.
The rapper’s most obvious face tattoo is the large “69” on the right side of his forehead.
On the right side of his face, he has his brother’s name, “Oscar” written. His brother helped raised him, after his father died when he was 13. On his right cheek, he has the character Billy the Puppet from the Saw movies. The puppet character also has a “69” on his forehead.
On the left side of his face, he has a large flower, which he got after the death of XXXTentacion. He has spider webs coming up from the corner of his jaw on both sides.
A young Russian fan reportedly replicated all of 6ix9ine’s tattoos on his own face in homage to the rapper.
21 Savage is one of the most successful rappers to emerge from the Atlanta trap scene in recent years. Along with many others in the trap scene, his face is adorned with a number of tattoos.
21 Savage’s most obvious tattoo is a dagger on the lower part of his forehead, reaching down between his eyes. The dagger is allegedly a tribute to his younger brother, who was killed in a gang-related incident.
By his left eye, he has the number “21” inked. When he got the tattoo he was accompanied by his friend Larry, who died. After Larry’s death, Savage added “R.I.P” above the number, and “Larry” below it.
Running down the right side of his face he has the words “Block Boy.” Below his hairline he has the words “Death Before Dishonor.”
Lil Pump has some of the most unusual and seemingly random face tattoos from any of the rappers on this list.
On the right side of his face, beside his eye, he has the number “17” – possibly a reference to his birthday. It is interesting at Lil Wayne and XXXTentacion also have a “17” face tattoo. Aside from the “17” most of his tattoos seem to have a jokey or light-hearted feel.
Lil Pump has a number of space-themed tattoos. On his right cheek he has a rocket ship, and a green alien on the right side of his forehead. On the left side of his forehead he has a UFO. He has a spade symbol and two small stars to the side of his left eye.
The space theme is continued on his neck with a tattoo of the globe.
He also has a sad face with Xs for eyes, in the lower-middle of his forehead between his eyebrows.
Rapper Lil Xan has numerous face tattoos, most of which have a clearly defined meaning.
Lil Xan’s most obvious (and first) face tattoo is a “Zzz” beneath his right eye. He has said that this is “the only tattoo I would probably say has no meaning.”
Beneath the “ZZZ” tattoo, Lil Xan used to have a red tattoo that said “Low.” It has now been covered up with the word “LOVER” (very similar to Lil Uzi Vert). Under his left eye he has a tattoo that says “Candy,” which is his mother’s name. His logic was that although his mum doesn’t like face tattoos, she couldn’t complain if he got her name tattooed on him! (Lil Peep also got his mother’s initials as his first tattoo, by the same logic).
Beneath the “Candy” tattoo he has a broken heart and the word “Soldier,” referencing his mixtapes, Heartbreak Soldiers (2018) and Heartbreak Soldiers Pt.2 (2019).
Above his right eye he has a tattoo which says “MEMENTO MORI” (meaning reminder of death), which he got following the death of Mac Miller.
He has several other face tattoos, including dots down his nose, an upside-down cross by his right eye, the word “YOU” above his right eye, and a tattoo on his right cheek that resembles three scars from an animal claw.
In an interview he stated, “what comes with face tattoos is you’re pretty much signing off on not living a normal life – whether for the good or bad – most times for the bad. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to blessed with the good people that helped me get where I’m at today.”
Lil Peep’s most noticeable face tattoo is the words “CryBaby” above his right eye. The tattoo is somewhat iconic, as Lil Peep became one of the foremost figures in the emo rap scene, in which heartbreak and emotional vulnerability are major themes. crybaby was also the title of his 2016 album.
Another of the rapper’s most prominent tattoos is the large red anarchy symbol on his left cheek.
Underneath his hairline he has a tattoo which says “GET CAKE DIE YOUNG.” In an interview, he explained that he woke up with this tattoo, and doesn’t even remember getting it done.
On his right cheek he had a rose, which covered over a previous Playboy logo tattoo. He has a “lucky” horseshoe between his eyebrows, a small star beneath his right eye, and a small love heart beside his left eye.
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