Snoop Dogg's Tattoos Explained

Snoop Dogg is probably most famous as a rapper; from his first album and instant classic, 1993's "Doggystyle," he went on to release albums regularly for the next three decades and is still going strong. Younger artists like Wiz Khalifa cite Snoop as a major influence, so his style and flow are still held in high regard. But while Snoop might have become famous for his music, he quickly branched out into many other business ventures, and made his name in those, too.

Film Daily says that Snoop owns his own production company, which is convenient since he's also starred in a bunch of film and TV projects. He's never been subtle about his love of weed, and now that it's legal in many places in the U.S., Snoop has become a bit of a marijuana entrepreneur. As well as his own line of cannabis products, he invested in a pot delivery service, and even started a "digital media platform" called Merry Jane.

But one thing Snoop isn't particularly known for is tattoos. While many rappers (and musicians from any genre) sport tons of tats, in some cases covering a significant chunk of their bodies, Snoop has remained extremely selective about what art he gets inked on his skin for life. Each one has a lot of meaning, and Snoop has inspired the tattoos of other people in more ways that one. Here's what Snoop Dogg's tattoos mean, and other facts about the rapper's connection to body art.

Snoop Dogg's famous tattoo artist

When you have the money, the clout, and the street cred of Snoop Dogg, you can have your pick of any tattoo artist when it's time to get inked. Snoop knew he wanted only the best, and from his first tattoo to his last (for now), he's stayed loyal to one man: Mr. Cartoon. It seems every tattoo Snoop has was done by the L.A. artist. In the documentary "L.A. Originals" (via the Los Angeles Times), the rapper says, "There's only one guy that I let do my tattoos and my kids' tattoos, the great Cartoon."

Mr. Cartoon was first and foremost a traditional artist, only coming to tattooing after making his mark (literally) on the streets of L.A. as a graffiti artist. When he met photographer-director Estevan Oriol in 1992, Cartoon was introduced to the music industry. "I let him sketch on me," Oriol said. "I showed the guys from Cypress Hill and made them get tattoos. When we'd go on tour with Goodie Mob or OutKast, I'd say, 'Get tattooed by my boy.'" He's also gone on to tattoo the likes of 50 Cent and Slim Thug.

During his last few tattoo sessions, Snoop has posted videos on social media extolling the talents of his tattoo artist, thanking him and saying (via TMZ), "Only by the best man — that's the only man who do my tattoos, the one and only. Mr. Cartoon." But if you want your own Mr. Cartoon tat, just know he's famous for saying, "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it."

Snoop Dogg has a large portrait of his wife

While Snoop Dogg and his wife Shante Broadus have been together over 30 years, things were not always perfect between them. In fact, there was a point where it looked like their marriage was over. "I was trying to get a divorce, but I went back home and I fell back in love with my wife and kids. A lot of times you get cloudy," Snoop told MTV in 2004 (via E!). "This music industry is a mother, man, and it'll take your vision and blur it. But God is good, so I understand that I need my wife and my kids in my life—so I threw the papers away. I don't want to get a divorce. So if you hear about a divorce, it'll be my wife divorcing me. It won't be me divorcing her ... And I made a mistake, so I'm trying to get back right."

Six years later he showed how serious he was about showing he was in it for life when he visited Mr. Cartoon for a piece of body art. The tattoo artist posted on Twitter (via Baller Status), "Monday Morning session with the boss dogg @snoopdogg about to get busy with this Tatttoo," along with photos of the process.

No subtle love hearts or initials for Snoop. He expressed his love for Shante with a full upper arm piece of his wife, complete with the words "Boss Lady" underneath. As you'll soon see, this would start a bit of a family tradition.

He also has a portrait of his late cousin, Nate Dogg

Nate Dogg was not only Snoop Dogg's cousin, but they were close friends and collaborators. After high school, the New York Times says Nate formed a group with Snoop and another friend who would go on to greatness, Warren G. This would eventually lead to Nate signing with Death Row Records, and while he did release a few solo albums over the years, he became famous for his collaborations and appearances on other people's albums. This included his cousin Snoop's "Doggystyle."

Nate Dogg's career just took off, with him appearing on dozens of hit songs, getting four Grammy nominations, and working steadily well into the 2000s. Tragically, health issues would bring it to a screeching halt. In 2007, he suffered a stroke which took a year to recover from. But just as it seemed he was back to health, Nate had a second stroke, and this one was even worse. The singer found himself unable to even speak, relying on a breathing tube and partially paralyzed. Two years later, a further series of strokes killed him. Nate Dogg was 41.

At the news of his cousin's death, Snoop tweeted (via the Hollywood Reporter), "I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up wit u and I will c u again n heaven cuz u know d slogan." Snoop made sure he'd never forget him, getting Nate's face and the words "All Doggs go to Heaven" tattooed on his left forearm a week after Nate's death.

Snoop celebrated the Lakers' win with a new tattoo

Snoop Dogg might be the most famous superfan of the L.A. Lakers basketball team — after Jack Nicholson, of course. But even Jack didn't show his devotion to his team in the very permanent way Snoop did.

In 2020, after a season complicated by the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lakers came out on top, winning their 17th NBA championship, according to TMZ. And Snoop wasted no time in celebrating in a big way, with People reporting he had Mr. Cartoon ink a large forearm piece in honor of the win the very next day. Snoop told his followers on Instagram, "As promised, the Lakers win the 'ship, I'll go get that tat. Anything for the Lakers, everything for the Lakers, all things for the Lakers. F**k the Clippers ... We the West and we the best." He described the design of the piece: "Larry O'Brien championship trophy with the Lakers going through the ball. Gates of Heaven up top, and it don't stop. Laker Nation. Thank y'all Lakers."

However, it was less than a year later when it seemed Snoop's beloved team tattoo might have become just a mocking reminder of past greatness. After a particularly bad game, he posted, "Never thought I'd say it, but we sorry and the Clippers better than us. Frank Vogel can't coach, and why the f**k Montrezl Harrell ain't getting no run. F**k this is heartbreaking AD. Hurt more than Mary J. Blige. Records. We soft." The question is, did it hurt more than getting that giant Lakers tattoo?

Snoop's Lakers tattoo includes a tribute to Kobe Bryant

While Snoop Dogg might be sad about his Laker tattoo when they aren't playing well, there is a second part to it that he will never regret. Underneath the image of the Larry O'Brien trophy, along Snoop's inner wrist, are the initials "KB," for his friend Kobe Bryant. In his Instagram video showing off his tattoo the day after the Lakers won the NBA Championship in 2020 (via People), Snoop highlighted the tribute saying "As you see, tat is done. KB on the bottom. Kobe Bryant."

Kobe had died in a helicopter crash nine months before, in January 2020, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others. Five months later, Snoop was part of a tribute to the late Laker great at the ESPYs, which were held virtually that year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. While a video of Kobe played behind him, Snoop rapped, "You beat the odds by a mile, all grit, no smile/A new golden child, yeah, let's do it Mamba Style."

Snoop explained to Ellen DeGeneres on her show (via the NME) what Kobe meant to him, and everyone. "The younger generation of basketball players all look up to him. The younger generation rappers all look up to him. Even a rapper like myself – who was older than him – I looked up to him because he showed me ways on how to be a better person, a better father, a better man, you know, going from that to this. He was just a great leader and a great role model, and we going to miss him dearly."

Snoop Dogg's mystery tattoo

Snoop Dogg doesn't have many tattoos, but he's not shy when it comes to talking about them and what they mean to him. He seems to gravitate towards very literal representations and meanings, and if there's any room for doubt, it's usually removed by social media posts where he explains what ink he got and why.

That's why it's so weird he has one tattoo that no one seems to know anything about. It's not hidden or anything, it's another arm tattoo, this one on his left bicep. But scouring the internet, you'll find people desperately trying to figure out what it is, and not getting very far. AmoMama simply reports, "His third tattoo on his left bicep is seldomly talked about. Knowing Snoop, fans were sure that it probably had great meaning just like his other[s]."

In a similar vein, Classic Hip Hop Magazine writes, "Snoop's third tattoo is actually unknown, but it also looks like a Mr. Cartoon tattoo." Considering Snoop has made it very clear he only gets inked by one man, that's pretty much a given. As for what the tattoo actually is? The writer guesses "it looks to be of a symbol or letter." But since getting some kind of confirmation would be a real coup, the article ends, "Hey Snoop or 'Toon, if you read this article, hit us up with the info and leave a comment below! The fans would love to know and we could do an article with the exclusive info, G!!" However, it seems the pair did not respond to the offer.

Snoop Dogg's daughter Cori has lots of tattoos herself

While Snoop Dogg only has a handful of tattoos, his daughter Cori took his love of ink and went much further. It's not clear just how many tattoos she has, because each Instagram picture she posts seems to reveal another one. In various images (via Ace Showbiz, From the Stage, and AmoMama), you can see she has a butterfly on her forearm, three hearts and the letters MCM on her shoulder (which she seems to have since covered up with a feather), a small bow on one wrist and an elaborate rose design on the other, and four squiggly lines on the front of her neck.

One tattoo proved to be too controversial for her followers, however. AceShowbiz reported that when Cori was 20, she had the word "Belle" tattooed on her face in a delicate script. Her post revealing it received judgmental comments like "Folks just do anything for attention these days," and "Ugh, I thought Cori had more sense than this." She responded to the heat with strong words: "For the people that are telling me I'm too pretty for a face tat are the same people that would tell me that I'm 'too pretty' even if They thought I was ugly and lie to me Lol. Or they would just tell me I'm ugly. So either way The moral of the story is do whatever the f**k you want in life." In later pictures, it looks like the tattoo has either been removed or is usually covered with makeup.

His son Cordell got inspiration from one of Snoop's tattoos

Snoop Dogg's youngest son Cordell Broadus worked hard at both school and sports. When he applied to colleges, the four-star wide receiver got "several high-profile offers," reports Yahoo Sports. These included one from the team his father supported, USC in Los Angeles, but Cordell instead chose their big rival, UCLA. But there were no hard feelings, with Snoop simply changing his allegiance, saying, "I'm going to back him up 1,000% so I'm going to throw my USC drawers away. I'm going UCLA 100,000%."

Shortly after Cordell signed to UCLA, he did something that probably made his father a little less bummed about the school he picked. In 2015, Snoop took his son to see Mr. Cartoon, who gave Cordell a large arm tattoo of his mother Shante, very similar to the one Snoop has of his wife.

This appears to be the only tattoo Cordell has, and it's easier to tell from his pictures than those of his family members, since he is often in various states of undress thanks to his job as a model. Despite his promising football career, Cordell told the New York Times that he decided to leave UCLA after he was approached by a modeling agent at a party and learned the ridiculous amounts of money he could make just by posing. While there are images of Cordell with fake tattoos on his chest while strutting down a catwalk, it seems he's choosing to keep his body a mostly plain palette, at least for now.

Snoop's son Corde has an eclectic mix of tattoos

Unlike his younger brother, Snoop Dogg's son Corde Broadus has plenty of tattoos. And of course, the most important is that ubiquitous portrait of Shante Broadus on his arm, just like his father and brother have. Corde's shows his mother looking pensive in a hat, with the words "The Reason" in script underneath. Shante is obviously proud and honored that the men in her life all chose to ink her image on their bodies. In July 2020, she posted an image of all three of the portrait tattoos side by side on Instagram with the caption "Tattoo Me On You So I Know 'It's Real.'" While they are obviously of the same woman and done by the same tattoo artist (Mr. Cartoon), all three manage to be completely unique.

Corde's other tattoos are extensive, although like with his sister Cori, it's not clear how many he has. Various images (via ThemeFam, People, and Corde's Tumblr page) show tattoos including a sad clown on his left shoulder, the words "Hippy Era" in a bubbly font across his chest in front of a beach scene, a tribal design on his left forearm, and words across his knuckles.

It's clear Corde started with the tattoos when he was pretty young, as The YBF has modeling pictures from when he was just 15, and you can clearly see the word "Spank" in cursive on his left bicep. Why Spank? It's the nickname his famous father gave him, although the tattoo must have led to some awkward conversations with strangers.

Other people's tattoos that were inspired by Snoop Dogg

If you search for "Snoop Dogg tattoo" on the internet, what you will quickly discover is that while you might get a few results about his tattoos, you will get lots, and lots, and lots of images of tattoos of Snoop Dogg on other people. It seems like Snoop's face is one hundreds, if not thousands of individuals have decided they want to stare at them for the rest of their lives.

One Snoop Dogg tribute tattoo that was inked on a fan at a tattoo show in England was considered newsworthy enough for its own article in the local paper. And Snoop definitely knows these tribute tattoos exist. In 2021, he even posted a video on Instagram of a particularly amazing, eerily realistic 3D tattoo of his face a fan got. (Not everyone is thrilled with the Snoop tattoos, of course. In an article for NPR, the writer recounts how at a family reunion, all her 17-year-old son's relatives tried to talk him out of getting one, recalling, "He'd been talking about getting a tattoo. We discouraged him. We asked him how he'll explain a Snoop Dogg tattoo to the nurses at the nursing home when he's the one who's 80.")

It's not just normies who love their Snoop tattoos. Urban Islandz reports that rapper Wiz Khalifa has both Snoop's portrait and the cover art for his album "Doggystyle" (pictured) inked on his body. When he posted images of the tattoos, fans thought it was a bit weird, commenting "Sus" and "I can see getting one maybe... But multiple?"