Confusion about it's meaning has come from the victim's having to explain the tattoo when they get out of prison and have to explain it to family and loved one's. They would often state that they got the tattoo because they killed a man in prison. This statement was not far from the truth since their submissive act of becoming another man's "bitch" could easily be viewed as the death of their manhood.
Problems arose when men on the outside began to get the tattoos and brag that it signified their killing someone or lost a loved one. Unwittingly they had marked themselves as a target for predators if they ever went to prison.
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.
Some Famous tear drop wearers:Birdman, Lil Wayne, The Game, Krayzie Bone, Larry Hughes
Gangsta 2:Oh Shit Nigga! That sucks man I just shot someone in the head for some money I regret dat shit...
Gangsta 1:Wanna get tear drop tattoos?