Hip Hop Chains and the Culture That Ushered This Fashion
It wasn’t long ago that hip hop culture started to impose itself on us, by making its reach through diverse aspects. Eventually, it cast itself on fineries, jewelries in particular. That ensued the crafting and making of a line of extravagant jewelries which came to be named as hip hop baubles.
But, only a few people know that heavy jewelries predate the hip hop era by many thousand years. It doesn’t exactly take us back to the Maharajas of India or the Tsars of Russia, but to one man named, Mansa Musa. Mansa Musa was an African King who is known to the richest man in the history of mankind. King Musa was fond of gold and collected a treasury of heavyweight bling jewelries through his rule. By the time he died, he was estimated to be worth $400 billion.
That was back in 1337. The 21st century virtually saw another gold rush within the rappers community in Hollywood. With men’s jewelry on the rise, rappers started to heavily endorse flashy to gorgeous ornaments over slender and sublime ones. Along came dookie, chunky chains to replace slender rope ones that the likes of Kool Herc promoted. With that, the smaller accessories started to undergo a transformation to something bolder too. Simple rings changed to four-finger knuckle busters with elaborate designs, gold tooth caps became gold grills and started to appear in mouthfuls.
Over the years, hip hop chains went through a gradual process of transformation. From bold and clunky, they turned to ornate, while retaining the weight. The modern day hip hop chains are ostensibly different from the ones we saw in the start of the era. Link and rope chains are still prevalent, but not without the refinement and embellishments that were missing before. Some gold chains have diamond crusting in their loops while others are plain gold ones intertwined with finer strands and polished pieces.
Most hip hop chains are long enough to be worn in loops. So, every chain that hangs to a moderate length can be worn as two. The lobster clasp at the back secures the ends together. Pendants are another cool feature of hip hop chains. While most buyers like to get theirs customized, there are some template designs up for sale too. You can get the emblem customized to one of your choice keeping the rest of the frame as is, if you like.
While not everyone can afford a hip hop chain because of the obvious reasons, jewelers are trying to bring the cost down by using 14k gold. These chains are sported as a symbol of social standing, particularly a high one, and that is something that is identifiable through all cultures. From Kayne to 50 Cent, hip hop jewelry is a much endorsed fashion that is purported to be flashy and bold.
Should you be looking for something simpler and subtler, this is certainly not your genre of interest.