Rapper Lil Uzi Vert shocked his 13 million Instagram followers after posting a photo of himself with a new forehead piercing featuring what is supposedly a $24 million pink diamond.
Followers — some of whom compared Uzi to Vision, the Marvel superhero who gets his powers from the infinity stone attached to his head, questioned why the rapper would embed the jewel directly into his noggin, rather than add it to a piece of jewelry.
“Why didn’t you just get it placed in a ring?” a Twitter user asked, to which the Philadelphia native responded, “If I lose the ring, yeah, [you] will make fun of me more than putting it in my forehead.”
Uzi bragged that his gem costs more than all of his cars and houses combined.
“Y’all talk about my net worth — my net worth is bigger than yours. But, it’s neither here or there. It’s only a piercing, guys. I done had 10,000 piercings in my face,” Uzi said. “B*tch, relax.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Eliot Eliantte, the owner of New York-based jewelers Eliantte & Co, said they never thought Uzi would really go through with the implant, but debunked theories that it is unsafe. In fact, it’s apparently as safe as any other piercing out there.
“Yeah, it’s as safe as any other piercing,” Elinatte said. “As long as you maintain it well and have good upkeep, it’s perfectly fine. We made sure that prior to getting anything done that Uzi brought someone in to consult on everything. We didn’t just do this randomly.”
To make sure the diamond doesn’t fall out, some logistics and engineering were involved.
“In the body modification world, they usually do everything in stainless steel or surgical-grade steel. But in our case, we did everything with precious metals. We engineered a specific mounting that clips and locks in place. There’s a whole mechanism involved, it’s not a standard piercing. A specific piece and part were both engineered with millimeter precision to get this put on him.”
Vice President of the Association of Professional Piercers Luis Garcia shed light on the bold piece of body art, saying it was simply a vertical bridge piercing, as in the bridge of the nose.
“That would be an actual piercing with a staple shape barbell that enters at one point, exits at another, and then the big diamond attaches to that bar on the front,” Garcia explained to Yahoo Life.
“Overall, not super risky,” Garcia said, adding that that the only worry for such a piercing is a skin infection – especially if the skin starts rejecting it and pushes it out of place.
While rare, the placement on Uzi’s forehead is not unknown. It is sometimes referred to as a “Third-Eye piercing” and is worn as a cultural statement in South Asian countries.
Unlike the nose, the lower forehead contains some blood vessels that cannot be touched while piercing. Uzi acknowledged the risk and remarked in a Tweet (showing off a photo of the diamond with blood dripping from the bottom) that the dermal piercing has the potential to kill him — just as with the comic book superhero, if not removed correctly.