A Guide To 9 Eminem Tattoos and What They Mean
Eminem is one of the greatest rappers to ever step in the booth. The former battle rapper from 8 Mile rose from poverty to become one of the biggest-selling artists in music history. Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, Eminem has sold over 220 million records, had ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200, and won 15 Grammy Awards in a career spanning almost three decades. He’s also a big fan of tattoos, with this guide to nine Eminem tattoos sure to give you more context on his ink work.
Discovered by Dr. Dre in 1997, Eminem’s debut album, The Slim Shady LP, was a surprise hit thanks to the chart-topping single “My Name Is.” Attracting controversy due to his lyrical content, Eminem crossed over into the mainstream and became a rap superstar with the release of The Marshall Mathers LP just a year later in 2000. Since then the “The Way I Am” rapper has dropped eight more albums (with nine out of ten going straight to the top of the Billboard 200) and established himself as one of rap’s modern greats.
Like so many other rappers, Marshall Mathers is a tattoo fiend and has lots of his body covered in tattoos. Em started getting tattoos long before he became a music star, with much of his ink telling his life story. His story and achievements are so inspiring that Eminem tattoos are now a thing, with many Eminem superfans getting ink of Slim Shady or quotes from his songs on their body.
Whether it’s his tattoo dedicated to his best friend and fellow rapper Proof or his “Slit Me” tattoo referencing his suicidal tendencies, Eminem’s tattoos are very much like his music and show who the real-life Marshall Mathers is. Below is a selection of some of his most famous ink and the stories behind them.
A Guide To 9 Eminem Tattoos and What They Mean
1. Hailie Jade Tattoo
One of Eminem’s earliest tattoos is the name of his daughter, Hailie Jade. Inked on his right forearm, Em got the tattoo not long after Halie Jade was born after Christmas, 1995. He has updated the tattoo over the years, putting the name inside a scroll, giving it a more old-timey look.
2. Ronnie RIP Tattoo
This tattoo started off as a simple script that said “Slim Shady,” one of Eminem’s alter egos, on the rapper’s left arm. He elaborated on this initial ink with a massive tattoo dedicated to his uncle, Ronnie Polkingharn, that covers much of his left arm and shoulder. Em has said Polkingharn was the one who introduced him to hip-hop and started his journey in the world of rap.
Sadly Uncle Ronnie committed suicide in 1991. Wanting to pay tribute to his uncle, Em got a tattoo in recognition of him. Designed and inked by famed tattooist Mr. Cartoon, the tattoo features a large mushroom, evil eye, and cityscape, with the words “Ronnie RIP” at the base of the tattoo.
3. Tribal Tattoo
On his left wrist, Em sports a funky-looking tribal tattoo. He has said he can’t remember when or why he got the tattoo and most likely got inked while he was drunk or high. It’s not a very good tatt and it’s surprising Eminem hasn’t tried to cover it up over the years.
4. “Rot In Pieces” Tattoo
Not one to mix words, Eminem’s “Rot In Pieces” tattoo is aimed squarely at his ex-wife Kim Mathers. The stomach tattoo features a gravestone with the name “Kim,” and underneath are tattooed the words “Rot In Pieces.” The story goes he got the tattoo after having a major fight with her after believing they would never get back together. Turns out they did, although they eventually called it quits in 2010 but remain on friendly terms.
The tattoo is also referenced in the song “Superman,” which is about all the women Eminem interacted with after he became single. In the song he raps about how women want him to be something he’s not. He uses the lines, “Love that tattoo/What’s that say?/”Rot In Pieces”/Uh, that’s great,” as a way to show how women tried to connect with him on a deeper level.
5. Proof Tattoo
On his lower left forearm is a dedication to Eminem’s late friend Proof. Born DeShaun Dupree Holton, Proof and Em were childhood friends who grew up together in Detroit. Proof was Em’s hypeman and a member of the group D12. He was tragically killed in a shooting incident at a billiards club in 2006.
6. D12 Tattoo
Eminem has D12, the name of his group with fellow rappers Proof, Bizarre, Mr. Porter, Kuniva, and Swifty McVay, tattooed on his left and right arms. He has “D” on his right arm and “12” on his left, both inked in an old script.
7. Hailie Jade Portrait Tattoo
Along with having his daughter’s name on his lower right arm, Eminem also has a portrait of Hailie Jade on his upper right arm. The tattoo is of a young Hailie Jade smiling with five roses underneath her. This tattoo was another designed by Mister Cartoon who blew up when the tattoo went viral.
Speaking with Adam 22 on his YouTube show No Jumper, Cartoon goes into detail about the tattoo and how inking Eminem turned him into one of the most well-known tattooists in the world. He also talks about how he needed to complete the tattoo in a hurry as Em had a date organized. “I was like, you know I’m doing your daughter’s portrait, holmes,” laughs Cartoon. “No pressure, shit!”
8. Bonnie & Clyde Tattoo
Below the portrait tattoo of Hailie Jade are the words “Bonnie & Clyde.” The duo of Bonnie and Clyde were real-life bank robbers who terrorized America during The Great Depression before being ambushed by police and shot to death.
This is another dedication to his daughter and also a reference to the song “‘97 Bonnie & Clyde” from Eminem’s major label debut The Slim Shady LP. The song itself is dark and details Eminem killing his wife and abducting their daughter.
Em also added a vintage car underneath “Bonnie & Clyde” which is most likely a reference to the getaway car the real Bonnie and Clyde drove.
9. Slit Me Tattoo
Arguably the most controversial tattoo on Eminem’s body is this tattoo that reads “Slit Me” on his right wrist. It’s said Eminem got the tattoo to acknowledge his suicidal tendencies and the 2007 drug overdose that nearly cost him his life.
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