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Posted Aug 16th, 2015 (10:04 am) by Sean O'Leary

Sometimes otherwise rational people make really silly decisions. And sometimes those decisions get inked on their bodies forever.

Around this time last week, we found out that Ryan Adams was covering Taylor Swift’s 1989 and it got us thinking about genre bending covers. This week, inspiration struck from a more unlikely source – Twitter.

Specifically, Ed Sheeran’s Twitter, where he defended a massive tattoo of a lion that he got on his chest. The guy has some seriously goofy tattoos, and people were starting to rag on him for this one – in particular, Tom Chaplin of Keane (remember Keane?) commented that he hoped it was a joke, since it looked so bad. Sheeran’s responses were on point:

Halfway and ouch

A photo posted by @teddysphotos on

That being said, though, there’s been a lot of bad choices made in the wild and wacky world of artist tattoos, so we put together a list of ten genuinely terrible ones.

1.) P Diddy – "God’s Child"
As we’ll discuss throughout this list, neck tattoos rarely look good on anyone, ever. In particular, "God’s Child"? There’s two ways to read this – the first is he’s proclaiming his faith, and declaring himself one of god’s children. But in theory, aren’t we all? Why do you need to label yourself? The second is that he thinks he’s the actual son of god, and that’s not any better.

2.) Riff Raff – BET Logo
The BET Logo is the most egregious, but Riff is covered in logos. BET, MTV, Worldstar Hip Hop, NBA... It’s like the insane corporate version of college kids getting huge block quotes in script all over their ribs.

3.) Harry Styles – Sailing Ship
Getting away from rap (although we’ll definitely be back) and into the realm of boy bands, One Direction member Harry Styles sports an impressive number of tattoos. Lucky for us, 1D’s notoriously diligent fanbase has cataloged them all. The ship is cool, and it’s a apparently a cover-up job by artist Freddy Negrete which is impressive... Except it doesn’t cover up all the words, and it runs weirdly into the Pink Floyd prism there, and what's up with the blackwork heart above it? Good grief.

4.) Travis Barker – Head Piece
There's nothing especially wrong with Barker's head tattoo. It's pretty well done, the image is cool, and fits with the style of all his others. That said... It's still a head tattoo. Barker is super invested in tattoo culture, so it’s no surprise he’s got some ink that’s a little more aggressive (even by being-fully-covered standards), but still. It’s not badly executed, but it’s a weird concept.

5.) Eminem – RIP Tattoo
Say what you will about his lyrics (and we have, good and bad) or his demeanor, there's no doubt that Eminem is a controversial guy. But a tattoo of your ex-wife’s grave with the phrase “Rot in pieces”? Damn, dude. Dark.

6.) Lil Wayne – "Baked"
Supposedly, Wayne’s forehead piece (one of them) is actually not what you think it is. Unless you thought it was a reference to Baker Skateboards, in which case it is. What is it with musicians and logos? The especially weird part is that Wayne has some cool tattoos, so the dumb ones stick out even more. Having “Fear God” on your eyelids is kinda cool, having a skate company logo on your forehead is not.

7.) Kerry King – Tribal sleeve/body/head
This could just as easily read “Everyone with a tribal tattoo”, but because of its prominence on him, Kerry King of Slayer is maybe the most egregious offender. He loved the design so much its even on his signature guitars. Though at least he matches.

8.) Ed Sheeran – Left Arm Sleeve
Puss n’ Boots, a ketchup bottle, a buddy tattoo of a penguin with Harry Styles – this sleeve has it all. And Sheeran’s right, if it makes him happy, that’s what matters. But still, a ketchup bottle? And why two Shrek supporting characters? We're not convinced that anyone in the world really needs Shrek tattoos.

9.) Gucci Mane – Ice Cream Cone
This one just about speaks for itself. Apparently he got it because he lives his life “Cold as ice”.

10.) Rick Ross – Lincoln and Washington
Rick Ross is covered in tattoos, and some of 'em are pretty cool. These two are not among them. Also if you’re going for “people on money”, why pick the smallest two denominations of bill? Then again, with as much money as he has, you can get your tattoos in any denomination you want.

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