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Totally Insane Gang Tattoos

#1 Understanding Ink

Tattoos are generally given specific meanings by their owners, but when they're gang related, they seem to not only take on a more significant role in someone's life. As simple as it sounds, the more you get, the more you're respected and/or disliked.

#2 Inked By An Angel

Angel wings can look pretty sharp if the design is done right but they actually symbolize sublimity, even dating back to the images of "Gabriel". In gangs, it's a universal sign that one does not fear death.

#3 A Deeper Meaning

More common amongst American and Russian prisons, tattoo pieces are often used in prison environments to communicate beliefs, affiliations and even murder counts. In fact, one simple design can, in some cases, represent an entire sentence.

#4 Russian Rule Take II

As you may have heard, in Russian culture tattoos carry a rather negative stigma, even more so than in the US. They are generally associated with the criminal class . We here at likes dont care about any of that and think this guy's tats look insanely rad. Thoughts?

#5 Life Or Death

The skull is a clear representation of death and mortality but before it was combined with different elements, it was once commonly known to mark the death of important casualties or lost members of a "familia".

#6 Kiss Of A Rose

One of the most notorious styles of ink in Russian prison/gang circles, are those that tell stories about the wearer. The most common piece is a chest design of a rose, which is often associated with the Russian Mafia.

#7 A Graceful Flower

The Lotus Flower is a very common subject that's tied into the Yakuza gang and it's become one of the most popular designs, dating all the way back to the 17th century. The Japanese police and the media (by request of the police) call the Yakuzas "boryokudan".

#8 No Pain, No Power

Prison tattoos are often used to mark territory and flash gang affiliations but in a few instances, they can also represent individuality. This does exactly that but just in a very extreme way!

#9 Don't Give Up Your Day Job

Sometimes prison tattoos are nothing more than experiments. Many bored inmates take on the craft while stuck in prison, and they need to practice somewhere, right? This might explain some of the more random ones we've come across.

#10 Celtic Pride

If you ship up to Boston, you'll know that tattoos aren't exactly scarce. They represent pride and brotherhood as both help instill a sense of community throughout city's working class. At least on the South Side.

#11 The Art Of War

The Triads and the Yakuzas both have a notable history and were primarily used as a way to gain respect amongst your peers, as well as a way to easily identify your enemies. Should you ever need to do such a thing.

#12 Born And Raised In Compton

Back in the states, regional pride always takes precedence. In the south side of Los Angeles, this is especially true. In the case of this guy, that meant getting "Compton" written across your upper lip.

#13 Faded But Intact
Tattoos were a rare "accessory" half a century ago, and like the ones on this subject, were often used to represent different times, events, accomplishments and regrets.

#14 A Grim Outlook
Chest pieces are meant to intimidate as they're a vast canvas for large symbols and are prominently displayed. The blood in this piece helps to create a grim portrait that's somewhat symbolic of the dangerous life gangsters lead, and the sacrifice one makes to both enter and leave a gang.

#15 Forget Me Not

Others may disagree, but nothing is scarier or more powerful than a face tattoo. As if that weren't enough, this nice young man decided on an elegant barbed wire design which some we believe accents his eyes. Maybe?

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