Chris Rock is comic loyalty, so it's only fitting that he finally has his crown. Even though he was born in South Carolina, Rock is very much from New York City. He grew up here and launched his career from here, so it seems only natural that the tattoo is based on the art of another NYC legend—Jean-Michel Basquiat.
This was the first tattoo for both Rock and his daughter, but luckily they didn't make the kind of mistakes so many of us do and they went to one of the most trusted artists around, Bang Bang.
Rock opted for the simple Basquiat crown on his shoulder. Basquiat used the crown throughout much of his work and it became his signature. The crowns were a nod to the way that earlier artists would associate their work with the royal family, as a way to proclaim their own majesty. Working in New York City in the 1980s, Basquiat didn't have a monarch, so he continued the tradition in his own way, by placing the crown on historically significant Black figures, like musician Charlie Parker, in his "Heroes and Saints" series.
Rock's daughter chose a more specific Basquiat piece, "Pez Dispenser," for her tattoo. The name is clearly a reference to the toys that would distribute chalky candy, but it could also be seen as a connection to the Pop Art movement helmed by one of his closest friends, Andy Warhol. While the piece is not quite as directly tied to commercial work as, say, a bunch of soup cans, the connection an still be made. Although, the crowned dinosaur is much cooler looking than any of the Pez dispensers we've ever seen.
There's something really sweet about seeing a father and daughter get tattooed together, it truly is a lifetime bonding experience.