Eve’s most famous tattoo are the paw prints on her chest which have become her signature — “like a birthmark,” she says. Some of her other tattoos are in more discrete places and aren’t well know to her fans or the public. Her paw prints, however, are almost always on display, even though it’s not intentional. She told Coveteur:
I don’t dress around them. I used to when I was getting started, but now, I never really think about them. Sometimes, they’ll pop out and I’ll be like, ‘oh, right, that’s right. They’re still there.’
The iconic ink actually predates her rap career. She was young when she got the tattoo and was scared of showing it to her mom, especially since she got it on a dare! She knew that she wanted paw prints, but a friend encouraged her to choose this prominent and sexy location. She told Seth Meyers:
It was a dare. A friend of mine at the time — I wanted to get some dog paws, as you do, and I was like ‘I want to put them somewhere cool’ — she was like ‘I dare you to just put ’em on your chest.’ And I was like ‘Really? All right!’ … I didn’t take any persuading at all. And I did it and I was excited about it, and then thought about my mom. And then when my mom saw them she was like “Really? That it the tackiest thing I’ve ever seen.” … Years later I said to her I kinda had a thought like ‘mom, what do you think if I maybe got them removed, just asking.’ And she was like “No, you can’t do that! That’s how people know you!’ … Everybody comes around, it’s fine.
By now the tattoos are a lot paler than when she first started, but she doesn’t have any plans to get them darkened.
I kind of like that they’re faded. They’ve grown with me.
The paws have a little bit of a claw scratch mark above the toes which makes them look even more badass. That blend of toughness and sexy femininity defines Eve’s rap persona as the “Ruff Ryders’ First Lady.”