I don’t follow the rap world of today closely enough to know more than surface level politics and opinions about rappers like 6ix9ine or the late XXXtentacion, but I do know it’s not uncommon for them to sit their face under the needle multiple times.
A personal favorite of mine is musician Post Malone, and as he accumulates the face ink the motherly instinct in my “stan” (stalker fan) comes out and wonders, “is everything okay, boo?” With his most recent addition of “Always Tired” under the bags of his eyes, I’m curious if it’s actually clout or a blatant cry for help. Remember: we made the biggest deal out of Britney Spears shaving her head (a semi-permanent decision!), but we’re not creating a discussion about whether this literal message is Post saying he needs a break, if not a nap.
And this trend really is slowly extending to the masses. I often frequent Venice Beach’s bougie shopping street, Abbot Kinney, which practically serves as a watering hole for young millionaires of tech start-ups. While there, it’s not uncommon for me to see a late 20’s, early 30’s white male with at least three to five symbols around his eyes and cheeks. Without knowing their actual working background—there is the slightest chance they’re a music mogul—I make the quickest assessment of, “eh, you’ll probably regret that later if not now, Try Hard.”
I think I get bitter towards them on a deeper level, because not more than ten years ago, society was writing anyone with a face tattoo off as lower stature or even as violent since most inkings were known to be “prison tattoos.” Either way, these used to be signs to say that they’ve seen some shit. So the fact that we as a society used to peg down demographics and people, but are in absolute awe of the guys who maybe created an App for iPhone perplexes and irks me. Is it direct appropriation? Is it just a trend we can “all” do?
The only thing I know for certain is that the most consistent thing about trends is that they will change, unlike any procedure done by a needle.