The art of tattoos and music come from a similar strain of creativity: both require precision, talent and hard work.
On Saturday, March 22nd, at the 7th Annual Musink Tattoo & Music Festival presented by Travis Barker, fans of rock and rap, soaked up Rockstar Energy drinks, then flooded the scene to drench themselves in the seemingly endless array of tattoo art and pounding rap music.
Once inside the “Ink” tent, those fairgoers, sufficiently jacked up on caffeine, examined layers of Gothic-themed paintings and skull-entrenched attire. It was a city integrated with punk and hip-hop fanatics alike. After flipping through an array of portfolios, guests got inked by some of the greatest tattoo artists in the Los Angeles and Orange County area such as the legendary Jack Rudy, Nikko Hurtado and Robert Atkinson.
For the second half of the evening, all-star rapper and Tech N9ne protégé, Rittz, performed for the crowd. With an insidious flow and knack for perplexing rhymes, Rittz is well schooled at the art of rapping.
“I got started when I was 12 years old. I got introduced to rap music at school. I thought I would be good at it so I started practicing,” he said. “Over time I started getting good at it and was then influenced by the hip-hop culture.”
Rittz, 33, who was born in Pennsylvania and eventually moved to Atlanta, admitted the move to the South was a “culture shock.” He decided to quit school and pursue the rap career in hopes of making it to the big stage.
“I didn’t gain recognition for a long time and then right before I was about to give up, I got a chance and here I am.”
With influences such as Twista and the Notorious B.I.G., Rittz knows how to combine beats with emotion. He draws his inspiration and lyrics from his real-life experiences and relationships. His expressive music put him among the upper echelon of performances at the festival.
Musink left audiences with a new appreciation for the accolades of both tattoo and music culture.