Sultans of Bling: Hip-Hop Status Symbols From Gold Chains to the G6
We might still be clawing our way out of a recession, but Far East Movement's No. 1 song "Like a G6," referencing a Gulfstream 650 jet, has raised the bar of conspicuous consumption to pre-2007 levels. How did the hip-hop status symbol evolve from the $40 sneaker to the $58 million private plane? THR examines the history of excess in song.
Artist/Song: LL Cool J's "I Can't Live Without My Radio"
The first track off LL Cool J's debut album defined a sound heard on countless street corners during rap's formative years, but it required one key accessory: the boombox. Back then, a top-of-the-line ghetto blaster featuring add-ons like multiple speakers, dual cassette decks and microphone inputs could run as much as $200 (the equivalent of $400 today when adjusted for inflation). LL's brand of choice: JVC, which he name-checked in "I Can't Live Without My Radio" -- "Walkin' down the street, to the hardcore beat / While my JVC vibrates the concrete."
Item: Adidas Sneakers
Artist/Song: Run DMC's "My Adidas"
Price: $2,000 and up
Artist/Song: Slick Rick's "Teenage Love," Big Daddy Kane's "Smooth Operator"
Artist/Song: A Tribe Called Quest's "Skypager"
Artist/Song: Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride"
Artist/Song: Master P's “Make Em Say Uhh!”