The famously-tattooed Eve, Pusha-T and T.I. are in the spotlight on the new episode of “Marked Up,” Billboard’s new video series about musicians and their ink.
The Pitbull in a Skirt, Eve acknowledges the fact that the paw print tattoo she’s got on her cleavage is just as famous as her long-stand rap career. The location was chosen based on dare from a friend. “I wanted paw prints,” she says. “And I thought, “Where should I get them?’ She was like, ‘I dare you get them on your breasts.’” Eve dismissed the idea as a crazy one before changing her mind. “Now it’s a thing that’s how people recognize me.”
“I just think it’s a form of expression, just like going in the studio, writing a song,” Eve says about the skin artform. “I think a lot of tattoos tell a story about where you’ve been or where you’re going or something maybe just inspired you.”
The perfect paws were not Eve’s first ink. She confides that she got her first tattoo at 17. She’d wanted to get Chinese characters of the four seasons, “but it hurt so bad I only got one. So I got Winter.”
Tats weren’t a big deal for hip-hop artist Pusha-T growing up, though an older brother had one, but they came to mean a lot to him when he became a man. His tattoo of his name with a man standing under a light post, however, was something his grandmother always hated. “She didn’t like my name,” he says, or “bringing it to life on my body.” But he adds that, “I don’t feel like any of my tattoos are mistakes.”
Rapper T.I. says the essence of tattoos are the intention behind them. “If it means something to you and it’s representative of your character, and you’re actually speaking through your artwork, that’s one thing,” he says. “But if you’re just trying to fit in that’s wack.”
“I look at my tattoos and think of so much more work that I want to do, because I’m not finished,” Pusha-T says. “I want to do my whole body. I want it all done.”