It’s one of those hip hop terms that achieved escape velocity and penetrated the mainstream consciousness. Like many terms, it means different things to different people. For some, it’s shorthand for the ostentatious jewelry of the hip hop set. For others, it’s a way to be hip and current.
I’ve known Reggie and Gabe since my days in the music industry. Recently, I sat down with them to discuss some of the new insights and their new-found appreciation for the subject that came as a result of developing their soon-to-be released book Bling: The Hip Hop Jewelry Book, a flashy, fun, photographic display of jewelry past, present, and future. As you’re probably aware, “bling” can be any form of jewelry, from thick, “dookie” chains, bracelets, grillz—gold or jewel encrusted fittings for the upper and/or lower teeth—earrings, etc. Not surprisingly, diamonds are an integral part of bling culture, and I’m pleased to note that the authors touch on the issue of conflict diamonds and how buyers can procure conflict-free diamonds.
If you’re in the NYC environs, Reggie and Gabe will be doing a panel event at the Museum of the City of New York in conjunction with the Black Style Now exhibit tomorrow, Wednesday, October 25 at 6:30PM. Also, towards the end of the podcast is information on their official NYC release event in November.
Some bling visuals from the book:
As well as. . .
- An interview with Kareem Edouard, director of a short film on bling and conflict diamonds