The History of Hip-Hop, as Told Through the Jewelry That Defined It

“Jewelry has always been a big part of my life, but it has evolved as my life has evolved.” A$AP Finished writes in Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry Story, will be published by Taschen next month.

A collection of nearly 500 photographs, the 388-page book tells the story of hip-hop from the 1980s to the present day, told through the jewels and gems that have adorned the genre’s greatest figures – in imagery and rhyme. From Run-DMC’s gold rope chains to Jay Z‘s Roc-A-Fella trailer too Cardi B‘s diamond-encrusted nameplate necklace, Freezing explores the relationship between ornamentation and identity through vivid imagery and thought-provoking personal essays by Ferg and Pioneers, including Smooth Rick and LL Cool J

Below are some of the sparkling multi-finger rings, glittery gold grills, and other statement jewelry found on the pages of Freezing:

Jay-Z, 18 in this photo and still a stranger to hip-hop, was serious about his jewelry from the start. At a photo shoot with friend and rapper Jaz-O, Hov wore a double gold rope with an anchor pendant, a tiger nugget watch, a king cobra pendant, tiger four-finger rings and a Gucci link bracelet. The Gucci link was made popular by the Gucci brand but is officially known as the navy link, which is made up of large oval links that are flattened or hammered together.

Timothy White, Brooklyn, New York, 1988

Eric B. & Rakim

Scott Wipperman, New York, 1988 The History of Hip-Hop, as Told Through the Jewelry That Defined It

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