Jewelry has always had a vital role in hip-hop fashion, especially those that make a statement. Following Big Daddy Kane’s footsteps, 1999 saw B.G. of the Hot Boys bring the term “bling” to dictionaries everywhere. The term, albeit faded into obscurity today, was used to draw attention to the drapes of expensive and ostentatious jewelry, or “bling,” rappers often wore to complement their swag.
Speaking of its influence in the genre, Elizabeth Way said: “A very interesting thing to think about more recently is this association with luxury and how it’s taken over hip-hop fashion. For example, a nameplate necklace or nameplate ring—kids in the 1970s were having them made at the corner store and with a brass belt buckle. We see those same trends being executed by hip-hop artists today, but they’re in diamonds. They’re in platinum, they’re over the top.”