Welcome to Inked's 2021 Fall Issue! The carefree days of summer may be in the rearview but never fear, we have an amazing issue to brighten your spirits. We have three amazing cover features and a ton of interviews with intriguing tattooed folks.
In case we haven't quite sold you on the issue yet, here's a sneak preview of what's inside!
We've got the Prince of Reggaeton on our cover. Lucas Villa sat down with J Balvin and had a conversation covering many topics, including the release of his latest album, "Jose."
"Right now I just want to be the happiest guy on the planet," he says. "That's not J Balvin. That's Jose. I put J Balvin first for so long, so now I'm going to focus on myself, Jose."
Throughout the interview J Balvin shared what it's like to be a new dad, the importance of mental health and his ongoing mission to make Colombia a hotbed for reggaeton.
Tess Holliday channeled her inner Pamela Anderson for a cover feature paying homage to Anderson's iconic titular role in 1996's "Barb Wire." We spoke with the model and body positivity activist about how important representation is within the fashion industry, the wild story behind her first tattoo and much more.
After the photo shoot—which was completely the brain child of Holliday—she opened up about what the whole process meant to her.
"I never imagined that a Southern girl who grew up in a cow pasture would get to be fat Pam Anderson on the cover of a magazine she admires," Holliday says, "and get to help and inspire so many folks to be themselves. That's cool. It can be a lot of pressure, but the rewards of what I do and the life that I've created far surpass any of the bullshit."
Jessica Carter - The 2021 Inked Cover Girl Contest Champion
Thousands of beautiful tattooed women vied for the crown, but only one could be named champion. This year's victor is Jessica Carter. The lovely Carter is joined in the photo shoot by the rest of the Top Four.
Carter had some pretty sound advice to consider for everybody with 2022's crown in their sights. "Definitely go for it," she says. "Don't be apprehensive to express yourself and put yourself out there because you're afraid of what people will think or say. It's solely about you and your journey and trying to get yourself to a place where you're proud of your body and what you look like and you're celebrating it."
We caught up with Atlanta's reigning Queen of Hip-Hop to discuss a myriad of topics, chief among them her decision to rebrand from Mulatto to Latto right as her career was exploding.
"I was in a mindset of wanting to change my name," she told us. "I felt that it wasn't being perceived in the right way and I wanted to address the name change, but I wasn't sure how I wanted to address it yet. I was like, 'I could do a mini documentary, I could make an Instagram post, I could do an Instagram Live.' But i was like, 'Naw, fuck all of that. I'm a rapper and I need to address this in music."
Fall is spooky season, so you know we had to cover the macabre this issue. So who better to talk to than makeup artist and true crime storyteller Bailey Sarian? Sarian has been intrigued by true crime from a very young age thanks to her mom's career choice.
"My mom was a 911 dispatcher and she would take me to work with her," she says. "I would sit in and listen through the headphones to the 911 calls. That's when my curiosity was first sparked. We look back on it now and laugh because she probably shouldn't have been taking me to work with her."
Not even a global pandemic could stop CJ's "Whoopty" from becoming the club hit of 2020. The drill hit launched the Staten Island based rapper's career to the stratosphere, but according to CJ, we haven't seen anything yet.
"My first project was a tester and [his debut double album] is going to be the one I put my all into," he says. "What I'm doing has never been done before. A lot of hip-hop artists try to tap into the Latin space and it doesn't work out. To get the genuine support from those artists, it's hard to come by. So to be accepted in both lanes, it's a blessing."
After writing two albums and a memoir focused on the grief from losing her mom to cancer, Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast is turning the page and embracing joy. We spoke with Zauner about her many different projects, her upcoming album "Jubilee" and more.
"The most surprising and exciting thing to do would be to write something about the other end of human experience," she says. "After writing two albums about grief and loss, then an entire book about it, I really felt like I had said everything I needed to say about that experience."
We've got all that plus interviews with singer and songwriter Nessa Barrett, the Compton Cowboys, trainer to the stars Ron Boss Everline and so much more. This issue is not one to be missed.
Grab your copy of the Fall Issue at InkedShop.com. And if you want to save yourself the trouble of ordering a single issue every time a new one drops, you can subscribe to Inked by clicking here.