Under My Tattoo Needle

With tattoos including a cluster of stars on the back of her neck, a star inside her left ear, a symbol of friendship behind her right ear, Roman numerals on her shoulder, the word “Shhh …” on her finger, a gun on her ribcage and a treble clef and a 16th note on her right foot, Rihanna has proven she’s a fan of the ink. Last week the pop singer upper her devotion by getting on the other side of the tattoo needle.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene isn’t too pleased with Rihanna playing the part of tattoo artist.

Last Wednesday Rihanna, a few friends and her bodyguard dropped by East Side Ink in New York to hang out with her longtime tattoo artist BangBang.

Photo: AP Photo
Fort Open Field, Taguig, Philippines.

“[Rihanna was] not necessarily getting tattoo lessons. She came by originally to say ‘hi,’ and she ended up tatting BangBang,” East Side Ink owner Yadira told MTV.com.

Rihanna adorned BangBang with an “R” on his leg and then permanently left her mark on two other tattoo artists, tatting one guy with “R2” on his leg and other with “R3” on his arm.

“She hadn’t done that before,” Yadira said. “We had a blast. It was so funny and cute.”

TMZ captured a video of the singer walking out of the tattoo parlor. TMZ asked if she did a good job and she replied, “Ask them. I think so.” The celeb gossip site then asked if Rihanna had gone to tattoo school and she said, “That was my first class.”

The following day the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told MTV.com a representative has been sent to the tattoo parlor to investigate the incident. Apparently the department didn’t think Rihanna’s antics were so cute.

“Only licensed tattoo artists can administer tattoos in the city according to the City’s Health Code. We are sending someone to follow up on this,” the department said in a statement.

TMZ reported that if the NYC Department of Health presses charges against the pop star for getting her ink on without a license, Rihanna could face three misdemeanors with penalties up to $300 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third. East Side Ink could also face fines.

Click here and here for the MTV.com article.

Click here for the TMZ.com article.