This tattoo on my left hand is turning purple-ish blue

from Frank Ocean – American Wedding Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Frank, in a moment of young impulse, has actually gotten a tattoo of a wedding band on his finger. This is why he later says that he “just might die with” it. He doesn’t have the money for a real ring, but he can always go get a tattoo. This shows just how young he is, way too young for something like a traditional wedding. It’s already been a while and the tattoo is fading.

This gives the wedding the feeling of a late night trip to the tattoo parlor, and a parent’s horror at finding their kid home from a trip with an impulsive tattoo they can’t get rid of. Except this time its a wife.

Like a wedding ring, the tattoo leaves a mark on him, and it permanently changes the appearance of his hand. Its bound to him, and its very painful to take off.

Alos, people nowadays sometimes are replacing the traditional physical wedding ring with a tattooed “wedding ring” around their ring finger. This line could be symbolic for how “American weddings” are no longer authentic and the traditional importance of weddings do not exist in America.

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