Check out Lil Wayne’s tattoo collection in our ultimate guide. We get to know his tattoos and the stories behind them.
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr better known better as Lil Wayne has made a huge mark in the music industry.
He began his career at the age of 13 in 1996, after being discovered by Birdman who he met at the age of 8.
His 1999 album ‘The Block is Hot’ was certified Platinum, and since then Lil Wayne has been making hit after hit.
Responsible for Drake’s initial career success, Lil Wayne has been an icon to many, with Drake getting a portrait of his face inked to his skin as a tribute. Like many others, Lil Wayne is a body art enthusiast.
He has covered most of his body with ink, covering his life history along the way with one lady, Dow Hokoana, responsible for more than 300 tattoos inked to the rapper’s skin.
So, if you have ever wondered what meanings lie behind Lil Wayne’s tattoos, read on for the answers!
Tattoo: Stars going down the left side of his face.
Interpretation: Lil Wayne took tattoos to a whole new level with this set of stars. It looks normal to begin with but once the lights go off, some of these stars are ultraviolet, making them glow in the dark.
The ink is featured in his MTV music video ‘I am Not a Human Being’.
Tattoo: Inside his left ear, a flower has been inked.
Interpretation: Most of Lil Wayne’s tattoo’s present a troubled life compared to this flower which represents love and natural beauty.
‘MISUNDERSTOOD’ and ‘Lucky Me’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘MISUNDERSTOOD’ and ‘Lucky Me’ is inked on the left side of his face and neck.
Interpretation: MISUNDERSTOOD is a song from album ‘The Carter III’. Lucky Me, is a song by Jay Z from his 1997 album ‘In My Lifetime’.
Lil Wayne took some of these lyrics and incorporated them into his 2008 song ‘The Carter’.
Young Money Entertainment Logo Tattoo
Tattoo: The Young Money Entertainment logo sits on the rapper’s left side of his neck.
Interpretation: Young Money Entertainment is a record label founded by Lil Wayne and inspired by Cash Money Records, the label he was signed to as a teenager.
They have both been embroiled in a public feud, with Lil Wayne feeling he is owed more than he has been paid. Since 2018, Lil Wayne is now sole owner of Young Money Entertainment and will be using a new logo.
’17’ and ‘TUNE’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Tune’ and ‘17’ are also inked on the left side of his face.
Interpretation: Tune is the nickname given to Lil Wayne by his Grandmother, he later added ‘chi’ on the end to make the nickname sound like Gucci, Tunechi! 17 is a tribute to the 17th ward he grew up on, in New Orleans.
‘Soo Woo’ and ‘999’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Soo Woo’ and ‘999’ is inked on the left side of his neck and behind his ear.
Interpretation: ‘Soo Woo’ is a Lil Wayne song featuring rapper The Game. He hasn’t explained the 999 tattoo, but it could be related to his Christian faith, the number 999 representing those that will save the world.
Power Symbol Tattoo
Tattoo: On his left cheek is a power sign.
Interpretation: The power button can be significant to those who struggle to deal with their emotions, as it is a reminder that they have the power of control.
Lightning Strikes Tattoo
Tattoo: Lighting strikes are featured on the left side of his face.
Interpretation: One day, when going through his tattoo artist Dow Hokoana’s daughters booked, he pointed out the lighting strikes and said he wanted these tattooed, the rest is history!
Arabic Script Tattoo
Tattoo: Arabic script above his left eyebrow.
Interpretation: This Lil Wayne face tattoo acts as a reminder to always get foreign language translated before inking. It was meant to read ‘momma’s boy’ but he was soon mocked by many on twitter as the tattoo just doesn’t make sense.
Eye of Providence Tattoo
Tattoo: The Eye of Providence features on his chin.
Interpretation: The Eye of Providence is a symbol seen in many religions and represents God watching over humanity.
‘W’ and ‘Wizzy’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘W’ and ‘Weezy’ can be seen on the right side of his neck.
Interpretation: These tattoos represent another nickname Lil Wayne is known by, Weezy. He went on to create music album ‘Free Weezy’ in 2015.
‘Fear God’ and ‘C’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Fear God’ is inked on his eyelids followed by ‘C’ in between his eyebrows.
Interpretation: These Lil Wayne eyelid tattoos are a clear way of portraying he is a God-fearing man. The C represents his mother’s initials, Cita Carter.
Tribal Symbol Tattoo
Tattoo: Located next to his left eye is a tribal symbol.
Interpretation: After being told by his mother that he had too many teardrop tattoos, Lil Wayne decided to cover one up with this tribal inking.
Tattoo: Across his face, several tear drops can be seen.
Interpretation: Although Lil Wayne said his teardrops represent family members who have died, it stands controversial with many believing it instead represents people he may have killed.
This leads many to ask why does Lil Wayne have teardrop tattoos?
‘I AM MUSIC’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Above his right eyebrow is the words ‘I am Music’.
Interpretation: This is a tribute to his popular 2008 ‘I am Music’ concert tour in North America. It grossed approximately $42 million dollars and after his prison release, concert tour ‘I am Music II’ soon followed.
Smiley Emoji Tattoo
Tattoo: A smiley face on the inside of his lower lip.
Interpretation: Once inner lip tattoos became the new trend; Lil Wayne went and got this smiley faced inked inside his mouth.
Tattoo: Cracks can be seen coming down from his scalp.
Interpretation: The cracks seen on Lil Wayne’s forehead were inspired by Frankenstein. He hasn’t come out with an official meaning, but probably just liked its unique style.
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Fleur-de-lis and Deathboard Tattoo
Tattoo: A Fleur-de-lis symbol and a Deathboard are featured on his right cheek.
Interpretation: The Fleur-de-lis is the symbol of New Orleans, a tribute to the city he grew up in. The Deathboard tattoo is one of several tattoo tributes for his love of skateboarding.
Three Dots Tattoo
Tattoo: By his left eye three dots are inked in triangular form.
Interpretation: Three dots in a triangular form represent ‘Mi Vida Loca’ which translates from Spanish to ‘My Crazy Life’. It is a symbol that is associated within the gang community.
‘I Am Pimp’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘I AM PIMP’ is inked behind his right ear.
Interpretation: It is unclear why Lil Wayne got this inked however it also stands controversial. A PIMP is a man who controls a prostitute and takes a percentage of their earnings.
Tattoo: On the right side of his neck a gun can be seen.
Interpretation: Lil Wayne’s experience with guns haven’t always been great. He once shot himself in the foot with his mother’s gun, he tried to commit suicide at the age of 12 by shooting himself in the chest and was found guilty in 2009 on weapons charges.
‘Imperfect’, ‘Hear No Evil’ and ‘Baked’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Lil Wayne’s face on the right side reads ‘IMPERFECT’, ‘BAKED’ and on his ear ‘HEAR NO EVIL’.
Interpretation: Baked is the logo of one of his favorite skateboard brands, Baker Skateboards. Imperfect is self-explanatory and the C in this tattoo is inked backwards. Hear No Evil has been tattooed on his ear to prevent evil and negative voices.
5Boro Pigeon Tattoo
Tattoo: 5Boro Pigeon logo is near his right ear.
Interpretation: 5Boro is a skateboard brand and apparel store from New York City. It is one of several tattoo tributes Lil Wayne has given to his hobby.
Tattoo: ‘Blessed’ is inked across his neck.
Interpretation: Grateful for the life he now lives, Lil Wayne got this tattoo ‘Blessed’ across his neck. It has since been replaced with ‘god’.
Tattoo: Lips are featured on the rapper’s left side of his neck.
Interpretation: Lil Wayne loves women, so what better way to show this, than by having lips permanently inked to his skin! This is another ultraviolet tattoo which glows in the dark.
‘LIFE’S A GAMBLE’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Life’s a Gamble’ can be read to the left of his chest.
Interpretation: In his song ‘We Be Steady Mobbin’ Lil Wayne says ‘Life’s a Gamble’ and ‘I’m all about my poker chips’. It means life will always be a risk and he is all about his money.
‘A GUN’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The inside of his right palm says, ‘A Gun’.
Interpretation: Lil Wayne has a deep history with guns and although on several occasions they have almost taken his life, this still hasn’t stopped him from keeping a gun in his right palm.
‘THE WORLD’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his left palm reads, ‘The World’.
Interpretation: This tattoo has quite a powerful message, it means the world is in your hands and you can take whatever opportunities you would like.
Tattoo: Logo ‘Espn’ is featured on his left arm.
Interpretation: Espn stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, an American cable sports channel.
Tattoo: ‘Steel’ is written on his left hand.
Interpretation: Steel has been inked along his left hand, although it isn’t completely clear why he got this tattoo.
Tattoo: On his right hand the word ‘concrete’ can be seen.
Interpretation: Another questionable tattoo that hasn’t been given any specific meaning. Maybe it relates to the ‘Welcome to Tha Concrete Jungle’ song he released.
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‘SQAD’ and ‘SHIT’ Tattoo
Tattoo: SQAD SH*T is written across all his fingers.
Interpretation: A tribute tattoo for music group Sqad Up which Lil Wayne was a member of. The group also included Kidd Kidd, Gudda Gudda, T-streets, Raw Dizzy, Young Yo, Fee Banks, Supa Blanco and SoulReaveR.
‘HOT BOY’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Hot Boy’ on his left forearm.
Interpretation: Lil Wayne was part of a group called Hot Boys in 1997. Other band members include B.G, Juvenile and Turk. In 2015, Lil Wayne released a song called Hot Boy and was also on a feature in 2018 for Preme’s song Hot Boy.
Red Swirl Tattoo
Tattoo: His lower left arm features a red swirl.
Interpretation: Spirals often represent direction, journey and progress, and also show one’s connection with God however, others interpret the swirl as a symbol of life itself.
Cross and ‘In memory of Rabbit: It’s up to me’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his right bicep a cross is featured. Lower down his arm reads, ‘In Memory of Rabbit: It’s up to Me’.
Interpretation: A cross symbolizes Lil Wayne’s deep faith in Christianity. In his book Lil Wayne: Takin the Rap, he describes the words In Memory of Rabbit: It’s up to Me, as a tribute for his deceased stepfather.
Reginald ‘Rabbit’ was murdered before he reached fame and this was Lil Wayne’s first tattoo.
‘SLIM’ and ‘BABY’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Slim’ and ‘Baby’ have been inked just below both of his shoulders.
Interpretation: Slim and Baby are both CEO’s of Cash Money Records and are key figures in Lil Wayne’s life, who helped build his successful career from such a young age.
Rolls Royce Logo, Green Martian and ‘THUGGED’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his left arm the Rolls Royce logo, a Green Martian, and the word ‘THUGGED’ can be seen.
Interpretation: Lil Wayne sports the logo of one of his favorite makes of cars on his bicep. Next is a Green Martian, a humanoid race endangered on planet Mars. His song Phone Home from 2008 features the lyrics, “We are not the same, I am a Martian”.
The word THUGGED shows Lil Wayne is trying to imply he is gangster and lives a thugged lifestyle.
‘Nae’ and Roman Numerals Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Nae’ is inked on both his forearms, with 504 inked on his right arm.
Interpretation: Nae is the nickname of his first child, Reginae. He was only 16 at the time and had his daughter with childhood sweetheart Toya Johnson. 504 represents the New Orleans area code, his hometown.
Tattoo: On his right forearm are the numbers 92782.
Interpretation: Inked in bold over previous tattoos is the number 92782. This represents the rapper’s birthday who was born on the 27th September 1982.
Tattoo: On Lil Wayne’s wedding ring finger the name Trina is inked.
Interpretation: Trina is the name of Lil Wayne’s ex who is also known as a famous female rapper from Miami.
They were engaged but never made it down the aisle and the tattoo has since been covered with a Chinese symbol.
‘Shake Junt !’ and Skateboard Tattoo
Tattoo: Shake Junt and skateboard is on his right hand.
Interpretation: These Lil Wayne tattoos are tributes to his love of skateboarding. Shake Junt is a well-established brand in the skateboarding industry.
Tattoo: A bird is featured on his right bicep.
Interpretation: In 1998, Birdman signed Lil Wayne to his label Cash Money Records. He was a key figure in Lil Wayne’s successful career and life so as a thanks, he inked this tribute.
Tattoo: His left forearm features a microphone.
Interpretation: A clear reference to Lil Wayne’s love of music and his career. He has been rapping with a strong interest in music since the age of 8.
Barbed Wire Tattoo
Tattoo: Lil Wayne’s right bicep features barbed wire.
Interpretation: Barbed wire can be a way to remind you of faith or a way to show you’ve served time in prison.
Tattoo: On either side of his chest a set of wings can be seen.
Interpretation: Wings generally symbolize freedom but with Lil Wayne’s strong faith in Christianity it could also be related to angels.
Red Stars and ‘SIKK F*KK’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his chest, red stars and the words ‘SIKK F*KK’ are inked.
Interpretation: These 5 stars are known to represent 5-star blood. The bloods are a gang known widely across America. He then follows it up with the words ‘SIKK F*KK’.
‘BM’, ‘JR’, ‘CASH MONEY’, and ’17’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘BM’, ‘JR’, ‘Cash Money’ and ‘17’ are inked across his torso.
Interpretation: ‘BM’ and ‘JR’ stand for Birdman Junior, another tribute to the man who kick started his career.
Cash Money represents the label that first signed him and 17 represents the 17th ward in New Orleans.
Skull and ‘BANG BANG’ Tattoo
Tattoo: A skull and ‘Bang Bang’ is inked towards the right side of his chest.
Interpretation: Skulls are often a symbol of mortality, death and people who rebel. ‘Bang Bang’ is inked to describe the sound of a gun.
‘MOB’, ‘Cause They Breed Envy’, ‘DAMU’, and ‘PIRU’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘MOB’, ‘Cause They Breed Envy’, ‘DAMU’ and ‘PIRU’ is inked all over his chest.
Interpretation: In Tupac’s song Blasphemy, he says ‘That’s money over b**ches, cause they breed envy” which led Lil Wayne to get those tattoos.
DAMU and PIRU are related to the Bloods gang. DAMU is Swahili standing for blood-like and PIRU is the first Blood set from Los Angeles.
‘APPLE EAGLE’ and ‘R.I.P. TB’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Apple and Eagle’ is on the left side of his torso followed by RIP TB.
Interpretation: The ‘Apple and Eagle’ is another tribute to his hometown New Orleans. His RIP TB tattoo is a memorial but for who, we are still unsure.
Army Man Tattoo
Tattoo: The right side of his back features an army man.
Interpretation: Although it isn’t clear why he decided to get an army man inked to his back, it could be a sign of protection and being war ready.
Louisiana Map and Skull Tattoo
Tattoo: The map of Louisiana and a skull are inked on his back.
Interpretation: One of several skull tattoos found in Lil Wayne’s body art collection, these are a sign of rebellion and death. The map of Louisiana is a tribute to the state he grew up in.
Bible Verse Tattoo
Tattoo: A bible verse sits on his right shoulder blade.
Interpretation: Lil Wayne has always been clear and vocal about his Christianity, which is why he decided to get one of his favorite verses inked to his back.
‘Young Money’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Young Money tattoo in red.
Interpretation: Another Young Money tattoo inked in red as a proud tribute for his record label, Young Money Entertainment.
Tattoo: BELFAST can be seen on his left lower leg.
Interpretation: A hometown tribute to New Orleans, this time for Belfast street.
Tattoo: An alien tattoo sits on his knee.
Interpretation: One of several tattoos Lil Wayne has dedicated to Aliens, which he seems to have a lot of interest in.
TRUKFIT Logo Tattoo
Tattoo: On his right lower leg lies a TRUKFIT logo.
Interpretation: To mark his appreciation to one of his favorite clothing brands, Lil Wayne decided to get a Trukfit logo inked to his leg.