Aside from his singing and acting skills, Machine Gun Kelly's tattoos have captured the world's attention. Discover the meaning of his eye-catching tattoos and how many he has.
For those who think getting tattoos while drunk in the wee hours of the morning is insane, know that rapper and actor Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) has been there.
Machine Gun Kelly, also known as Colson Baker, started having tattoos at 14. He got his first ink in Humboldt County, California, describing the experience as the most daring moment he did as a teen.
Machine Gun Kelly attends the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on August 30, 2020. | Source: Getty Images
"It was the most punk rock thing I could ever do to myself. Now I look at tattoos on my body, and I kind of regret [it] because it became really accepted in popular culture."
MGK has around 70 tattoos in various shapes, sizes, and styles that typically overlap with each other. The majority of his tattoos are meaningful to him. He even has tattoos dedicated to Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and actress Megan Fox.
The Anarchy symbol is MGK's most controversial tattoo on top of his navel.
'BORN WITH HORNS'
This tattoo represents the title of MGK's upcoming sixth studio album, which he collaborated on with Barker, his fellow tattooed pop-punk icon.
'TICKETS TO MY DOWNFALL'
MGK takes his album titles seriously and doesn't mind having them permanently inked on his skin. This tattoo represents the title of his fifth studio album, which featured Fox.
MGK loves to pay homage to the places where he grew up. His "WEST 303" tattoo on his left arm represents area codes in Denver and Cleveland, which MGK credits for shaping him into the man he is today.
Sean 'Diddy' Combs poses with Machine Gun Kelly, who featured his "WEST 303" tattoo on his left arm. | Source: Getty Images
This is yet another tattoo honoring Cleveland. MGK was born in Houston, Texas, but moved several times before settling in Cleveland, Ohio, with his family in 2005.
Tattooed on his right shoulder, the "North 71" road sign leads MGK back to Cleveland. MGK's devotion to his hometown is truly unquestionable.
MGK lived in Denver from when he was 9 to 14. He said he spent pivotal years of his life there, adding that it is where he had his first brushes with the law.
MGK appears to want to be reminded to keep his pride in check. He once said his favorite tattoo is the "Almost Famous" one inked on his stomach. He said that no matter how successful he becomes, he is still humbled every morning when he looks at the tattoo.
A SALVADOR DALI TRIBUTE
This design, found under his tattooed name, is likely MGK's largest. It is a recreation of Salvador Dali's painting "The Temptation of Saint Anthony," which MGK found interesting because everyone has their own interpretation of it.
Machine Gun Kelly's "MGK" and Salvador Dali tattoo fully covering the back of his torso while "DEN" and "CLE" tattooed on the back of his arms. | Source: Getty Images
The "We Right Here" singer apparently wants to clearly identify himself, so much so that he tattooed his initials prominently on his back. With that massive tattoo, it would be difficult to mistake him for anyone else.
Machine Gun Kelly attends Nickelodeon's 2019 Kids' Choice Awards at Galen Center on March 23, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
The fairies on MGK's shoulders appear to symbolize his relationship with women. He said that some of the most beautiful people in his life are women, including his manager, whom he lauds deeply for supporting him all the way.
'STONE COLD HEART'
This "stone cold heart" tattoo symbolizes MGK's time in the music industry. In an interview, he stated that being in the music industry for so long teaches you to harden yourself and not let people in.
'EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE...'
MGK has a penchant for classic authors. Aside from George Orwell, the rapper used a meaningful quote from Oscar Wilde's work to decorate his skin.
Women, both real and fictional, play an important role in MGK's life. He even has a thing for the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, whom he refers to as his "fantasy woman" and "dream woman." The tattoo, which donned a red gown, is found on his right bicep.
Machine Gun Kelly's Jessica Rabbit tattoo on his right bicep. | Source: Getty Images
MGK is a huge Orwell fan, so much so that when he was 19, he had the title of the writer's book "1984" tattooed on his skin. The novel famously introduced the concept of Big Brother, who watches everyone's every move.
'RIP B ARNOLD'
The tattoo "RIP B Arnold" is spotted on his lower right arm. This was MGK's first tattoo, and it was done in memory of his grandmother, who died on Valentine's Day. Clearly, she left a significant mark on the rapper's life.
Machine Gun Kelly "RIP B Arnold" tattoo written on his lower right arm. | Source: Getty Images
MGK is a deeply sentimental person who cherishes the people he cares about the most. Aside from his grandmother, the rapper also inked his daughter's name on his skin.
On his wrist, MGK has symmetrical tattoos. He explained that the left one says "Live Free," while the right one has chain links, implying that you can either live a life under societal constraints or you can live for yourself.
Machine Gun Kelly's wrist chain tattoo. | Source: Getty Images
MGK apparently enjoys tattooing the titles of his work on his skin. "Alpha Omega" is the title of one of his songs, as well as the title of his 2016 tour.
'KISS THE SKY'
Another song title that has made its way into the rapper's skin is "Kiss the Sky," tattooed on the inside of his elbow. There's no doubt he's proud of this song.
'I MISS YOU'
MGK has been known to cover Blink-182's "I Miss You," so this tattoo could be a nod to the band. The rapper clearly knows how to pay tribute to his musical influences.
'FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS'
MGK wishes to be constantly reminded to pursue his dreams. He is so determined to succeed that he has a large reminder tattooed on his body.
Machine Gun Kelly attends the 2019 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH on February 9, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
"Lace Up" is a phrase tattooed twice on MGK's body. This is one of his most recognizable tattoos, and many fans have also recreated it on their bodies. According to MGK, it means that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to in life.
A closer look at Machine Gun Kelly's "Lace up" and "Follow Your Dreams" tattoos. | Source: Getty Images
The "Est. 1990" alludes to MGK's birth date on April 22, 1990, in Houston, Texas. The lettering is bold and cursive and tattooed just below his collarbones.
Machine Gun Kelly's "Est. 1990" tattoo below his collarbones. | Source: Getty Images
When MGK was 16, he came to believe in God and got a guardian angel tattoo on his chest. The angel wore a tank top, baggy jeans, and sneakers. He afterward changed the angel into a big black raven with a dagger in its heart.
The tattoo, which is written in red and capital characters across his belly, depicts the sort of individuals MGK has surrounded himself with. He mentioned that the folks he usually hung out with were from Cleveland.
MGK has a "Banksy" tattoo on his left abdomen, which he uses to make a political statement. The ink portrays a man squatting with a sign that says, "Keep your cash, I want change."
MGK has tattooed fang markings below his left ear. It's unclear why he chose fang tattoos, but admirers assumed it was a nod to the "Twilight" series of vampire-themed romantic flicks.
'ATOM AND LIGHTNING'
MGK has a small tattoo of an atom surrounded by connected cables and lightning on the middle of his neck. Fans believed he's a big fan of the classic "Big Bang Theory" series.
The Anarchy symbol is MGK's most controversial tattoo on top of his navel. MGK explained that the artwork - a combined letter "A" and "O" - makes a powerful message about social reform. He described it as his form of expression for his uniqueness.
This tattoo is a nod to MGK's fourth studio album. The album title is in the center of a rectangle made up of little dots. It became noticeable only when MGK shaved his hair.
Machine Gun Kelly's tattoo detail on his head. | Source: Getty Images
'HEROES GET REMEMBERED, LEGENDS NEVER DIE'
This tattoo on MGK's shoulders is inspired by the classic film "Sandlot." In a previous interview, he stated his desire to become an icon or a legend.
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