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Che Mack: “I’ll take the pain because I want it that bad”

She’s appeared alongside the likes of Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Freeway in videos and photo shoots, but one glance at Che Mack and her 60-plus tattoos will tell you she’s far from the average video vixen or model. Here, Che gets on one, dishing on all her ink, including one very private tat.

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Che Mack on number of tattoos: “I lost count. I probably have like 60-something, but all of them mean something. Every time I had a thought or feeling, I would just get a tattoo. Every piece I’ve gotten is a different time I been in the chair. In nine years, yeah, I probably been in the chair about 100 times.”

On tat locations: “Any place you can imagine – from my toes to my butt to my kitty. Not on my boobs, though. I think that’s going to hurt too bad. Not on my underarms either. But any spot you can possibly think of, there’s a tattoo there. Majority of them are on my upper body – my stomach, my ribs, chest, back. I have some on my leg, but I’m not going to get any on my thighs because I want to keep some mystery. I have two sleeves, full chest, full back, full ribs. Not so much on my stomach because I want to have kids eventually and I don’t want them to get too stretched out.”

On tat south of the border: “It’s a flower. Smell the roses, baby!”

On first tattoo: “I started getting tattoos when I was 18, so that’s nine years now. I’m 27. My first tattoo, it was on my back. It was a tribal. I didn’t know any better, I just wanted a tattoo. The tribal back then was pretty popular and I seen somebody else with my tribal, so I had to get it covered. I covered it with a coy fish. I’m a Pisces.”

On last tattoo: “Just got it about two weeks ago. It’s on my shin – it’s a Dreamcatcher. Dreamcatchers are a spiritual thing.”

On favorite tat: “It would have to be . . . I have a vintage mirror on the inside of my arm. Inside that mirror it says, ‘Learn how to live together without having to live alike.’ Actually I got the quote from Mint Condition. Mint Condition has this song called “Leave Me Alone.” I been listening to that song for about eight years now.”

On catch twenty-tattoo: “I lose a lot of things I’d like to do and I gain things that I wouldn’t even have thought of doing, so it really evens out. If somebody needs a tattooed girl for a movie role or something like that, I’d be perfect for that because I have that and/or if I wanted to do something like model for Abercrombie & Fitch, I couldn’t do that because of my tattoos. It’s like a hit or miss kind of thing. It’s an acquired taste.”

Goal: “My whole agenda is not to get like people, but for people to get like me. Keep it as an open-minded thing. I just want people to know you can express yourself. That’s what’s helping me win – the personality part. I even have a fake mole on my face. That’s how I break the ice with people – I tell them I have a tattooed mole on my face and can you please tell me which side it’s on? That breaks the ice and from there, it’s love.”

On comments by rappers about tats: some people say, “So where’s my name going to fit at?” or “You make me want to go get some tattoos right now” or “I can’t believe a girl has more tattoos than me.”

On rapper with the best tattoos: I love Lil Wayne. I love him period. I met him before and when I met him, I told him, ‘It looks like you have more tattoos on TV than you do in person. He said, ‘That’s the same thing I thought about you.’ His tattoos . . . he just knows what he wants and all his tattoos mean something to him. I don’t get stupid tattoos like 5-Star Chick. No discrediting the movement, but that’s not something you can be forever. tattoos are something you can’t play with. It’s not a style, it’s not a fashion, it’s for life. They’re like my kids. I think about them, I dream about them, I have them, I put them on my skin and I take care of them. that’s the only person I can probably relate to with tattoos.”

Misconception: “You must like pain. That’s the one that kills me the most, when people say I must like pain or ‘You a pain freak!’ tattoos hurt. They hurt. There’s no getting around it. but it’s just like women, how they’re into shoes or pocketbooks. They don’t want to pay that price and it might hurt their pockets, but they want that bag so bad that they will pay it and not think nothing of it like forget it. I’ll take the pain because I want it that bad. I hate needles from the doctor because they go in your skin. Tattoos are like a cat scratch. They don’t go in your skin.”

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