Boss Playaz
A 3-point crown with a text Boss Playaz was inked on the back of his neck. For Tupac, ‘boss playa’ is the next level a ‘thug nigga’ should try to reach. Tupac explained the hierarchy in the ghetto, “coming from the ghetto our development as men begins with a dust kicker, a thug n**gga then finally a boss playa.”


‘MOB’ sits on the back of his right arm. Tupac explained behind the set of All About U the meaning to be Money, Organization and Business. The song M.O.B. Money Over Bitches appeared on the posthumous album Until The End of Time 2001.

Only God Can Judge Me
On his left arm he had the Tattoo of Jesus burning on cross in thorns crown and next to it reads “Only God Can Judge Me”. Another one of his song titles ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ (All Eyez On Me, 1996) featuring Rappin’ 4-Tay.

Be Ambitious with Love While Young
The tattoo had a skull with a bunch of cash and a scale balancing a baby on one side and bars of gold on the other. Next to it was written “Be Ambitious with Love While Young”.

This tattoo represented his group. Tupac founded the hip hop group called Outlawz (formerly known as Outlaw Immortalz and Dramacydal) in late 1995 right after he got released from the prison.

Panther Head
Tupac had a Black Panther tattoo on his left shoulder. His parents, Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland, were active members of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many people in Shakur’s family were involved with the Black Liberation Army; some were convicted of serious criminal offenses and imprisoned, including his mother. His godfather, Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt was a high-ranking Black Panther.

On his right forearm Tupac had “NOTORIOUS” tattooed in Old English font in the memory of his best friend Big Kato who was murdered in 1993. Tupac often mentioned his friend Kato in his music.


Dada is inked to his left arm with a crown. This is a tattoo to his fiancée, Kidada Jones. Daughter of Quincey Jones Jr known for his Jazz music and record producing skills. Kidada describes Tupac as the love of her life. On the night Tupac was murdered Kidada was back at their Las Vegas hotel waiting for him to come back.


Above the Skull and Crossbones tattoo he had “HEARTLESS” the Live Squad released the song Heartless in 92. Under the Skull and Crossbones, he later added a tattoo that read “My only fear of death is coming back reincarnated”.

AK- 47 with “50 NIGGAZ”
Tupac had a tattoo of an AK-47 and “50 Niggaz” written under it on his scrotum. AK 47 is a symbol for people rising against oppression and “50 NIGGAZ” represents black unity. If 1 black person from each state of the USA unite then they will be stronger than any weapon (metaphorically). In his song Hollar at me from “All eyes on me” album, Tupac sang “I want members across tha fifty states”. He got this tattoo done with his stepbrother, Maurice “Mopreme” and Dana Smith aka Mouse Man.


When Tupac Shakur was 18 years old, he got his first tattoo, a simple “2Pac” inscription on his left chest. In the seven years that followed, the iconic rapper would get his body covered in ink, and each piece held its own hidden meaning to him.

Head of Nefertiti and “2 Die 4”
Tupac had a tattoo of Ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’s head on his chest with the words “2 Die 4”. Queen Nefertiti is a symbol for strong women. Many fans believe that this tattoo was a tribute to his late mother as he often referred to her as a Black Queen.  In one of his songs, ‘Something 2 Die 4’ (Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…, 1993), he said: “You know what my momma used to tell me / If ya can’t find something to live for / You best find something 2 die 4”.

Trust Nobody

Tupac lived a fast-paced lifestyle, with violence playing a key role. He has had multiple attempts on his life, one that stands out the most took place in 1994. Tupac was shot 5 times.Tupac felt betrayed by many in his life leading him to get this ink. It was completed in 1995 at Andy Neville’s Tattoo Asylum on Venice Beach.


Makaveli is inked along his neck. Makaveli is thought to represent Nicolo Machiavelli an Italian war strategist who faked his own death. In prison, Tupac regularly read books written by Nicolo Machiavelli such as Sun Tzu and The Art of War.

Cross (EXODUS 1831) Tupac was inspired by the heroic courage of Nat Turner an African-American slave who led a two-day rebellion of slaves and freed the blacks in Southampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831. The rebellion caused the death of approximately sixty white men, women and children. Whites organized militias and called out regular troops to suppress the uprising. In addition, white militias and mobs attacked blacks in the area, killing an estimated 120, many of whom were not even involved in the revolt. Nat turner was later captured and hanged. The meaning of Exodus is a mass departure of people. Tupac Cross represents many things like faith, god, injustice, fight against corruption and human rights.

Smile Now and Cry Later
Tupac had a happy face mask tattoo on the left side of his back, under it says “smile now” and a sad face mask tattoo on the right side of his back, below it says “cry later”. The masks are also known as the Comedy and the Tragedy masks derived from the symbols used in ancient Greek theater. The tattoos represent the good and bad times in life.
BALLIN Tupac got the BALLIN tattoo on his lower back. Fuck The World Tattoo on the back of his shoulders read “Fuck the world”, one of the tracks from his album Me Against the World.

Thug Life

The Tupac Thug Life tattoo is his most famous. It has been inked on both sides of his abs. After visiting Dago’s tattoo shop in Houston, Tupac decided to get Thug Life inked across his torso. It is arguably his most famous ink with thousands across the world, copying this design. According to Tupac, it is actually an acronym that stands for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants F***s Everyone’. The I in the tattoo has been swapped for a bullet.