the tear drop tattoo has had many different meanings. When they were first worn they meant that the wearer had been incarcerated and or killed someone while in or out of prison. As times have changed however, the teardrop has come to symbolize a friend or fellow gang member or family member that has died while the wearer is incarcerated.
Now however the teardrop seems to have become a fad, which granted has gotten people in trouble.
It has also been used as a gang identifier. If it was on the right it meant you were a Crip or part of the Folk Nation, on the left meant Blood or People's Nation.
I had a tear drop tattoo in blue under my right eye. I went to Cali and found a lot of teenagers had a teardrop tattoo. I remember one group of teens i saw, a few of the teens had the tattoo on the right side and a few on the left. When i got mine you would never be seen with someone with a tear on the left side if you had it on the right side.