Hip hop culture as we know it is all Hip about flashiness and appearing rich. The human race has been wearing bling-bling for the last 7500 years; ways before Jesus Christ. The flashy bling-bling is meant to show the audience that the artists have made it in life. This is because they are selling a successful dream to their audience. As there are five elements of hip hop; DJing, beatboxing, graffiti, emceeing, and B-boying, I would add another three which are Ag, Au, and C. I know you are wondering which elements are these. They are gold, silver, and carbon. These three elements have been a vital part of hip hop since its inception.
The following are reasons why rappers wear bling.
Hip hop rappers are always in a competition to discern who has more jewelry than the other. With so many competing visions of opulence, the artists are always in a race to outdo one another. They flex their hardest by acquiring new pieces of jewelry. In the process, they get bling of all kinds and designs. The length of your chain, the number of chains you have, and the number of diamonds on your jewelry are used as an indication of how your career is doing. The more flashy chains you have, the more it is perceived that your career is doing well even when this is not true. However, through this competition, many masterpieces have been brought alive due to the creativeness one needs to outdo the other. Artists also compete for followers and fans. After all, you cannot have a hip-hop career without fans.
2. Allegiance and status
In the beginning hip hop was a medium for the oppressed, segregated and subjected people of color and those of lower-income brackets to air their grievances. It was there for people who could not even imagine themselves adorned with expensive jewelry such as gold. So once they manage to succeed through hip-hop music, they want to show their mates back in the days that they have succeeded and can afford a sophisticated collection of jewelry. When you do not have bling-bling as a hip-hop artist, people tend to consider that your career is not doing well even when it is. The old humble beginnings are gone but till now, it is still a status symbol to have expensive jewelry.
Though in today’s world bling might be synonymous with rap music, it does not mean that it is easy to acquire. Gold is a very expensive precious metal. Therefore when one can afford it, it means they are wealthy. As it was used to store wealth in ancient times, in today's world the rappers use it as their bank. This is because many hip-hop artists do not trust third parties like banks and financial societies. Therefore instead of banking their money, they prefer walking around with it on their bodies in form of jewelry. This means they can retrieve it whenever they want and the bank cannot freeze it whenever they are in trouble with the law. This is because they have a high probability of colliding with the law due to their social status. So whenever you see a rapper wearing expensive jewelry remember that they are walking around with their wealth. I am not sure whether this will ever change, but I am hoping it will; it is not easy to walk around with your wealth.
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