Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
This post is dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Really, though.
Let’s be realistic for a moment; there’s no reason for a person to get a tattoo. Ever. It’s as unnecessary as 3D glasses in real life. Or piercing any part of the body that, under normal circumstances, the average person won’t see. Like a clitoris or man-nipple. Even something as well-intended as a portrait of a dead lover’s face, or a child’s footprint, is still egregious & pretentious. Actually, perhaps even more so, because those particular types of tattoos begin to look effed-up fairly quickly. By the time it’s your turn to give an opinion on it, it’s half-healed & funny looking, & the truth would only damage the friendship. The point is, tattoos, even though I have 7, are a waste of time, money, ink, & plasma.
That said, I do understand the
stupid ass ideology & minor addiction associated with tattoos. Again, I have more than several, & even though there’s genuine, personal reflection attached to each, I’m well aware that they aren’t the glorious badges I’d like them to be, no matter how cool other people’s may look to me. They are, in fact, some guy’s interpretation of something I thought would look good etched into my flesh, permanently etched into my flesh. No more, no less. & to add more feathers to this bird, so to speak, on my left-back-forearm, I have a despicable tattoo. Not only is it big enough to garner unwanted attention when it’s visible, but it’s also poorly-drawn enough to urge the reader to move closer to disern it. Thus, further exposing how awful a tattoo it truly is. I got it when I was drunk, but that’s no excuse, & I wear it with pride, because #realniggaz learn from bad decisions (& reminders help).
When I got my first tattoo, I was 18, & trying to do nothing more than get a piece of chicken. That night, when I showed it to my old man, he made a comment to the effect of “no neck & no face.” We laughed about it, because surely he knew he’d raised a young man with enough wherewithal & foresight to see how much of a backwards hustle that could be down the road. (This was years before the term “backards hustle” had become popular, mind you.) Even as I accumulated more throughout the years, he never made much of a fuss, just strongly suggested I keep “that shit” away from my neck & my face. It was one of the 70’s dad, unspoken, 5-word-lessons where you’d gleen the most you could from a scant few words. & if you didn’t, you were just assed out.
For the record, I’m aware that these aren’t the days in which we rode bikes all night & had house keys at age 9 because both parents worked. The perils are far more aggressive in comparison, & the parental dynamic has shifted phenomenally over the last 20 years, alone. However, who the fuck are these parents who okay facial tattoos? Skinny jeans, however effeminate & emasculating, if you ask me, are bad enough. But, I could get past it. The neck tattoo craze, which admittedly is still thriving, also gets a nominal pass, simply because the right sense of style could hide a neck tattoo if the need arose. But really though, there’s a sea of youngsters now, a proverbial tribe of kids who have tattoos on their faces (& necks), & apparently there’s nothing wrong with that. Well, frankly, my niggas, I’m appalled.
[Sidenote: This isn’t about race – I use the term “nigga” mad loosely – but the last thing Black people need to do more is volunteer extra reasons to be judged & cast aside, like too small lingerie. & to add a next page to that chapter, I believe it’s also indicative of the urban obsession & fascination with fantasy living vs dealing with reality. Too much rap music, not enough asswhippings, if you will.]
I got my left ear pierced at age 13, & my right on at age 16, & hid that shit from my greatgrandmother until the day she died. Just saying.
When these kids can’t find direction per se, & wind up in somebody’s system for whatever coonticity, who do we blame? The social workers &/or police who are just doing their jobs, or the parents, who weren’t? & this isn’t to insinuate something as feeble as a face tat has a direct link to a life of crime or poverty, but if you can’t see at least a distant correlation, I’ll ask you to kindly GTFOH, & close the door on your way out. If you smell my cologne.
Someone brought it to my attention the other day, that pet owners are more liable for their pets actions than parents are for their children’s. Legally, anyways. I found that interesting.