In his cover story for The Fader‘s annual Sex Issue, Hip-Hop “rock star” Lil Uzi Vert explains why he got face tattoos at a young age before his rap career took off.
Lil Uzi Vert is not the first person, or rapper, to get face tattoos [see: Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane and many more]. But, he may be one of the first people we’ve seen offer an actual, thought-out reason why.
The Philadelphia-born, Atlanta-made artist tells writer Felipe Delerme that he started getting ink on his face to “focus” on what he really wanted to with his life, which included being anything but “regular.”
When Lil Uzi Vert got his first face tattoo he was technically homeless. His mother had just kicked him out of the house after discovering he’d quit the only job he’d ever had, working as a stock person at a Bottom Dollar. “I had a job for fucking four days,” Uzi says. “I couldn’t do it. I’m not normal. I was in there just thinking,Why am I doing this?” He left his mom’s house and got the word “Faith” inscribed just below his hairline. “It was like, If I get this face tattoo, I got to focus,” he says. “I can’t go in nobody’s office with a suit on with this shit on my face. I got to focus on what I want to do.”
Before you start hating, realize that people like Uzi’s fellow Philadelphian Will Smith get praised and reposted for giving us quotes about not having a Plan B and focusing on Plan A. That’s essentially what Uzi said when he decided to get “faith” tattooed on his face. Now if he went out and got an ice cream cone as his first face tattoo, his sanity could rightfully be questioned.
As for the rest of his interview, Uzi was in true “rock star” mode as he barely gave his interviewer anything to work with, at one point shutting his door and locking it when he saw him coming. He did however manage to share his thoughts on being a professional rapper [“Being a rapper is a facade,” “[I] feel like I took the easy way out”], other rappers keeping their love lives private [“They’re scared people are gonna fuck their girlfriends”] and why the only part of the rap game he actually enjoys is being on stage performing [“I don’t give a f*ck about this sh*t”].
Read the entire story where he explains the meaning behind his name, and the rest of his face tattoos, for yourself here.
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