When you’re boys to the end, you’re boys to the end. Just look at Snoop Dogg’s left forearm. The Dogg Father recently got a portrait of his fellow 213 member Nate Dogg, and the phrase “All Doggs go to heaven” tattooed on his arm shortly after Nate passed away. Through every drug, misdemeanor and felony charge, Snoop was there for Nate, and Nate was there for Snoop during that whole death row thing. When you go through that together, a memorial tattoo is the least you can do.
But he’s not the only rapper who’s permanently memorialized his boy with ink. When you’re an MC and one of your boys falls, the natural thing to do is to get their name, or even their face, emblazoned on your body. It’s so much more meaningful than a tie-dye shirt. Here’s a list of six rappers supporting memorial ink.
Snoop wasted no time getting this memorial to Nate, sitting down in the tattoo chair less than week after Nate’s passing. According to our research, it’s the only tattoo to combine West Coast hip-hop with a reference to a Disney movie.
Eminem’s memorial tattoo to fellow Detroit rapper and D-12 member Proof (DeShaun Holton) honors his boy in two ways. First, and most obviously, it says his name. And second, the tattoo itself is the same as as the ink that was on Proof’s own forearm. Proof, who often worked as Em’s hype man, was shot and killed in 2006 during an altercation at a Detroit nightclub.
When you write for Diddy, as Rick Ross does, and the guy compares you to one of the greatest hip-hop lyricists of all time–Biggie Smalls–why not memorialize the moment with a tattoo of the deceased rapper? What’s surprising is that the Miami rapper waited until just last month to get a portrait of Biggie on his lower right back. Biggie was killed back in 1997 during a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. What’s not surprising is that even with this huge tattoo of Big’s face, Rick Ross still has enough room on his enormous back to add a few more faces.
Rumor has it that Naughty by Nature’s Treach was behind the camera capturing every last second of Tupac’s sex tape and if that doesn’t tell you how close he was with the man, the memorial tattoo he has on his arm will. Treach has been known to pour a sip or two of beer on the portrait tattoo during performances to honor Tupac, who was killed back in 1996 during a drive-by shooting in Vegas.
Every tattoo on The Game’s body has a special meaning, from the Converse All Stars logo under his right ear to the tattered bandana on the left side of his chest. But when it comes to memorializing iconic rappers in ink, Game’s on top of it. He’s got a portrait of Tupac as an angel on his upper right arm and a portrait of Eazy E on his lower right forearm. And just below that are three gravestones for Tupac, Easy E and Jam Master Jay. Plus he’s got a few others for the non-record-selling/ genre-defining friends who’ve passed away.
The former host of “Pimp My Ride” got a tattoo of Big Pun on his arm that integrates the colors of the Puerto Rican flag. This tells us two things: Xzibit really loved Big Pun and someone needs to figure out a way to make a “Yo Dawg” out of this because we tried and failed.