WEST BRIGHTON — A Staten Island tattoo shop has given meaning to “Wu-Tang Forever.”
Milk & Honey Tattoo started “Wu-Tang Wednesdays," inking cut-price designs inspired by imagery from the legendary hip-hop band.
“Wu Tang is very big here on Staten Island,” said Liz Manzolini, co-owner of the Castleton Avenue shop. “There’s a big following of people that really want to mark themselves with the symbols.”
“It’s something that I love and something that people next door and around the neighborhood love, to get Wu-Tang tattoos,” said Jeremy Nieves, 24, an artist at the shop.
“It made the perfect deal.”
Fans have a choice of about 20 different Wu-Tang-centric designs, charging about $40 on Wednesdays. On other days, they would cost around $70 to $100 depending on the design, Nieves said.
Nieves said he made a mix of designs that everybody would recognize — like the large "W" that’s the group's main logo — but also drew some that only dedicated fans of Staten Island's homegrown hip-hop group would understand.
“Some of them are based on songs, some of them are logos,” he said. “Some are them are just based on little things that Wu-Tang fans would pick up on.”
The most popular get is the large "W" logo with black and gold highlights and a large bee, because the group calls themselves the "Killa Beez," Nieves said.
The shop opened in February when Manzolini and co-owner Magie Serpica, who met at another shop in New Dorp, set up their own business so they could spend more time with their children.
“We're both mothers and we decided to open the studio where we can still be basically moms and still work,” she said. “You don't find us very often together.”
They started “Wu-Tang Wednesdays” in early March, and it's been a big hit with customers, Manzolini said.
The shop usually gets two to three people who come in for a Wu-tat on Wednesdays. Even on slow weeks, Manzolini said at least one person gets one.
Nieves said most people who get the tattoos don’t have any deep meaning behind the decision to permanently mark their bodies with Wu logos — other than a love of music and their home borough.
Andrew Anderson, 23, who got a “I W SI” tattoo, said he’s been looking for a way to etch his pride in his home onto his body.
“I’ve always been into Wu-Tang and when I saw this I thought ‘Woah that’s a good idea,’” he said. “Wu-Tang put Staten Island on the map pretty much.”
Nieves said they’re currently working on even more Wu-related designs.
“By the end of this thing we're probably going to have something like 50 Wu-Tang designs,” he said.
“Even after the deal, when somebody says Wu-Tang we're going to have a huge book of images to show them."