The human body is a canvas. It is designed to perform in the realm of the visual arts. Its why ancient civilizations and humanity have partaken in sculpting, detailing, and documenting its very form. Throughout different cultures throughout the world, there are infinite avenues for a people to move. One of them pertains to the very ability to paint, manipulate, pierce, and imprint permanent artistry on the outside. The human body is intertwined with visual artistry of the human body. That’s one of the human mysteries of the visual arts. We don’t know when humanity got the idea to see the body-in its very nude state- as an instrument for the celebration of Universal artistry. Yet, it is understood. How humanity chooses to celebrate this instrument varies from culture to culture; from nation to nation. Nevertheless, designing the body is another wave for experiencing human artistry.
Tattoos have a spiritual effect. In fact, they are very spiritual. Who would ever think them to be this way? Let’s go a little deeper. Because we shall. How a person chooses to decorate their body reveals a lot about their persona. With persona comes perception. Wanna go deeper? Let’s go! Our Earthly personas are examples, and reflections, into how (and if) we have aligned ourselves with the “invisibility” of Universal aesthetics, mastery, and creativity. When human beings ornament their bodies with tattoos, there is a level of intimacy, revealed. It conveys where they are spiritually, and how they are maneuvering their way, through Earth’s paradise! There is a way of doing it, and creating a Spirit of harmony with themselves and others.
A different world-a hidden world-opens up when it comes to men and tattoos. In a world (within particular societies), where men (and particularly, for the purposes of this article, Black American men) are conditioned to be “hard” and hyper-masculinized, there is something about a man decorating his body, with traces of vulnerability. Stamping oneself with his tastes, desires, sensory, and very spiritual artistry, a man has created an invitation for others to understand his Spirit. Its an example of being open and allowing those, with a certain gaze, to understand a man’s spiritual path and journey.
Another example of intimacy when it comes to the imprinting of tattoos on a man’s body is how it reflects his level of intimacy and connection with the feminine. Let’s just reflect upon this for a second. Tattoos are sacred. What a man chooses to place permanently on his body is conducted with a level of tact and thought. It has meaning, and sends a strong message for how he wishes to be portrayed. How he wishes to be seen. How he yearns for his Spirit to be reflected and interpreted. The feminine, or feminine attribute, is heavily linked with creation, and creation’s creativity. Its about giving birth to ideas, and allowing them to be reflected in open spacing and open view. People observe them, and interpret them as they like. Once men have decided to immerse, and participate, in this level of artistry, they too, are permitting themselves to find healing and joy within the feminine. Its fascinating, nevertheless.
Rarely do people write songs about the intimacy of men with tattoos, and their desire to find truth and healing with the feminine, within such artistry. However, when you have a song arising from this experience--a passionate one, at that-it must be celebrated as the epitome for the emotional, liberation of a man. Within this context, we are speaking of Black American men, for the R&B phase. However, it can apply to all men. When songs of a man imprinting symbols of his Spirit take place, they must be celebrated. When they call on the feminine to partake on a spiritual journey with them, through this level of intimacy, such songs must be treasured; archived in our minds, bodies, and Spirits. One of such songs is none other than the song, “Kissin’ On My Tattoos,” by New Orleans’ R&B star. . .
The song is composed in such a way, where a listener feels as if they are going into a Universally-enriched place; decorated with glittering stars. These stars create a direction of guidance, so that listeners do not feel alone. Furthermore, they are part of that elixir, where love’s imagination is being titillated, through the clinking of sparkling crystals; hanging from a giant chandelier. And waiting for him there, is the woman he loves-whom he truly loves!
In addition to the tone, mood, and timber of the song, what makes it more compelling are the lyrical dynamics. Alsina pours his heart into the narrative of this song. A man in love, who has intertwined his desire for love with the artistry, imprinted on his body. He is in love. He desires to share that love, express that love, and bridge a particular woman to embark on this love, with him; as tattoos become the focal point into love’s exploration. It is a heightened level of intimacy, as he is inviting a woman to go to the very depths of his Soul, where no one has ever gone before. For a man to reveal himself in such a way, translates into having reached a point in his spiritual journey; where he knows that he isn’t alone. He has recognized the spiritual artistry, and aesthetics, of a woman; and her journey completes him in every way. They are spiritual complements of each other. He feels them, and he knows just how real and true they are.
“Baby I don’t blame you for being in the club and getting all that love
Cause’ you’re so beautiful, God made you to show that off
Now, I ain’t ever been the jealous type of guy, but I want you to myself, I can’t lie
I know we ain’t on no one-on-one thing, but baby, it should change“
There are key words highlighting this first verse. God. Beautiful. Love. They are three intrinsic pillars in the explanation and articulation of what it means to define a holistic intertwining, with a woman. The honesty within these lyrics is what is key. Furthermore, just by closing one’s eyes, there is a level of imagination into how a man begins this journey in inviting a woman to explore the sacred visuals, imprinted on his flesh. Do you remember that midnight-colored spacing, with glittery stars decorating the space? Well, an entrance into that space, has begun.
“I dont want nobody, but you kissing on my tattoos
I don’t want nobody but me talking to you until you fall asleep
We better stop playing before we mess around and someone gets hurt
I don’t want nobody, but you kissing on my tattoos“
Ah! The declaration of love has begun. It’s very evident that love spreads and is abundant. August Alsina’s vocal range and timber articulates the desire for a man to publicly express to the world, that he has found his feminine complement. In finding her, in truly having journeyed to a particular place to find her, he has confirmed what was previously mentioned about the artistry and intimacy of tattoos. A woman who understands the very meaning, and hidden story of a man’s tattoos- his reason for choosing them, and the depth to his spiritual richness. Often, the one understands without having to say a word, or needing explanation. She is that keen in spiritual knowledge, and recognizes a man who has interconnected himself with Earth’s decor. That’s the very essence of a man, who has made a loving pact, with Earth’s spacing. He decorates himself with imprints of her, and he understands just how powerful and nutritious her landscapes are. For that, she feels him. Even if the tattoos were not there, she would still feel him. Quite honestly, the tattoos are the physical reflections of the intimacy, which had been felt; prior to even seeing them. Nevertheless, they do confirm what a woman may have previously known.
What illuminates the song is the audacious honesty. A man, unapologetic in his feelings, and how we feels for a woman. Again, its that initial invitation in feeling that a woman has come into agreement in her alignment, with a man’s spiritual intentions. Furthermore, it is a way in feeling that one has come to match their will, through another person. When you recognize that person, whom you were destined to walk life’s journeys and paths with-the complementing of your spiritual footprints on Earth’s soiling. Its more than an amazing and fascinating journey! In fact, its the epitome of the fiction’s imagination being coupled with Earthly realities.
“All my homies wanna know what’s up with us
They can’t believe that I’m kicking it with just one girl
But I’m cool with that
Them pretty eyes and that smile, girl I’m a fool for that (Yeah I’m a fool for that)“
Aha! There is something about a woman’s eyes, which gives her enlightenment in man’s perception and understanding. If you look into a woman’s eyes, and you find truth, you will have found a treasure. Couple that with a smile, and the truth has reached validation! Hmm. . .tattoos are something, aren’t they? Bringing light into one’s arena, a man’s tattoos illuminate to the very path of having brought an awakening into one’s Spirit. He is content in his Spiritual path, and seeks companionship on it. Once a man makes it a point to display his tattoos, he has opened the invitation for his spiritual complement to join him.
There is great passion in this song, by August Alsina. It can even be placed in the category of urban literature and fiction. Its a tale of love, within urban, Black American communities, and this unique articulation of love. It is poetry, in its own way, and the making of love is peculiar and beautiful. After all, what’s there not to like in the invisible depictions of artistry on the flesh? Its the fascination and wonder in the human Spirit, and one of the myriad ways, in which it is reflected in the human world. Its a jewel. Its a treasure. And, it brings the treasures of passion to the realm of many things. Its intrinsic. Its Spiritual. Its Universal. That’s the very aura of tattoos, and their sacred elixir. They speak for us, and there is nothing we have to say about it. Just be open, reveal, and let the kisses follow through!
For more information on the work of AUGUST ALSINA, and to stay up-to-date, with his latest work, you may go to the following: