Death Tattoos

Danielle Bregoli


Danielle Bregoli paid tribute to XXXTentacion by getting this “Numb” tattoo on her right forearm which matches one that the late rapper had on his face.  XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was murdered on June 18, 2018 at only 20 years old.  Danielle knew him personally and was devastated by his sudden death.  In a long instagram post, she wrote:

Yesterday I lost one someone very important to me. x was not only a close friend but he was a inspiration. He gave me the best advice and was always there for me when I needed him. Even when we would argue or he would call me yelling and mad or disappointed because I did some dumb shit he would always say “Ight I love you mamas” before he hung up. The feeling of him being gone kills me. He would always be one call away. And I hate the thought that when I’m in the need to talk to him when I’m upset he won’t be here to tell me everything’s gonna be okay. Bc of that dumb Trippie and 69 shit unfortunately the last call I had with x ended with me saying “i don’t ever wanna talk to you again” and nothing is killing me right now more than that. And the crazy thing is Sunday night I had the urge to call him and I forgot. Then yesterday afternoon I plugged my phone in in the car and randomly “sad” came on then my phone buzzed i looked down and I had got the message saying he passed away. I didn’t know what to say and my mind couldn’t process it. I just couldn’t believe he was gone and I still can’t #ripxxxtentacion

She got her tribute tattoo only a few days later and shared it on Snapchat with the caption “I love you forever.”  Technically, her tattoo says “Nunb” since a cursive letter m should have three arches, but she did this on purpose in order to stay true to X’s original ink.  XXXTentacion’s version of the design, which was below his right eye, was written in a way that was in between cursive and print.  The letters were joined together but looked like print letters, and his m had a straight line stem rather than a leading arch.

Danielle also included the three black dots that X had just below his “Numb” tattoo — even though she already had her own three dots tattoo on her finger.   XXXTentacion’s dots represented the chapters of his life.  He had three above each eyebrow and three below his right eye for a total of nine chapters.

His “Numb” tattoo represented a period of his life where he couldn’t feel anything.  He poured his heart out into his music and shared his many emotions — including numbness.  He wrote a song called “NUMB” for his 2018 album ? and another track “Let’s Pretend We’re Numb.”

We’ve got to imagine that Danielle is feeling pretty numb herself regarding his death.  The shooting has made her question the displays of bravado and toughness in today’s the rap scene.  In a video recorded by TMZ, she says:

It needs to be a wake up call to all these […people] who want to act all tough and hard.  And then when people really get a hold of them — It’s not funny anymore.  We lost X because of this, because people want to act all big and bad. […] This is real life.  This is not a fucking video game.

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Bea Miller


Bea Miller added this handwritten tattoo between her ghost and maple leaf in December 2017. It says “we are all going” which is a line from the John Green novel Looking for Alaska. She shared a picture of the tattoo on her instagram along with a photo of her copy of the book, showing the context for the quote. The paragraph in the book says:

We are all going, I thought, and it applies to turtles and turtlenecks, Alaska the girl and Alaska the place, because nothing can last, not even the earth itself. The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we’d learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did.

It is about accepting that we cannot change our own mortality and the impermanence of everything and everyone around us.

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Ash Costello


Ash Costello got the word “Dead” tattooed on the back of her hand in February 2014 by artist Danny Anchor. She loves zombies and vampires and often refers to herself as a “Living Dead Girl.”

In a video, she talks about the commitment she’s made by getting this and her other hand tattoos:

Going underneath the sleeve, as we called it, and getting onto my hand was a HUGE commitment.  As we joke, we say “there goes my bank job” or “there goes my corporate desk job.” Which obviously I was never going to have.  But getting a tattoo on your hand or neck or face solidifies like, that’s it — you are committed to being an artist and you are so screwed if you ever decide otherwise.

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