A retrospective on some of the most absurd pieces in rap.
Decadent jewelry has long been a staple in hip hop. From the bulbous gold ropes that Run D.M.C. rocked, to the diamond-flooded chokers that are everywhere today— statement chains have definitely stood the test of time, not necessarily in the sense that these chains are still wear-able present day, but in the sense that, we will vividly remember them for a time to come, as well as the rappers who owns them. As rap is often a game of one-upmanship, the competition to have the biggest, most expensive piece has resulted in some possible missteps over the years, but memorable nonetheless: comically large pendants, 7-figure price tags, and World Record-breaking proclamations that crunk ain't dead all litter the past few decades of the rap landscape.
With the constant use of Instagram and social media in general these days, it's easy to get lost in the glitter and flashiness of a rapper's jewelry. It's commonplace for a rapper to use their diamond-flooded watch or necklace as the focal point of any given Snapchat or Instagram Story, a quick look at just how much they can rock on a single wrist alone, or else, an inside peak into an extensive jewelry collection, beyond just the watch, depending if the artist is in pure flex mode.
On top of getting glimpses at their day-to-day jewelry-heavy outfits, we often are able to see new pieces debuted right on social media by the artist themselves, giving fans a first look at the latest iced-out pieces. Not only that, we are sometimes treated to a 'behind-the-scenes' look at any chain's creation these days, as chances are, the jeweler who was commissioned to create the piece is sharing that on his Instagram too.
In rap's storied history, some chains have ventured into ridiculous territory, but they're also beautiful in their own way. From the inspiring, to the innovative, to the just plain absurdly massive, they've made a lasting impression. What follows are some choice pieces from the annals of rap: including the good, the bad, and the battery-powered.
Which chain is your favorite?