Sultans of Bling: Hip-Hop Status Symbols From Gold Chains to the G6
by Shirley Halperin
11/8/2010 4:28pm PST
Item: Diamonds Year: 1999 Price: $900-$30,000 Artist/Song: B.G.'s “Bling Bling,” Puff Daddy's “It’s All About the Benjamins”
Puff Daddy declared it was all about the Benjamins at the turn of the millennium. How else could one afford luxury items like Benzes, ski trips to Aspen and “five carats with the cut"? Not the first hip-hop artist to mention the wallet-busting rock – that honor is bestowed on Cash Money’s B.G., whose single “Bling Bling” was a hit in 1999 – and certainly far from the last, the diamond is still very much in vogue even more than a decade later.
Hennessey, Courvoisier, Bacardi – hip-hop never went light on its alcohol, but few brands have achieved critical mass quite like the pricey French champagne Cristal, which was the seventh-most-referenced brand in the year 2003, right behind Prada. Perhaps Jay-Z said it best in his club hit “Excuse Me Miss”: “You can't even drink Crist-OWL on this one, You gotta drink Crist-ALL.”
Item: Maybach Year: 2007 Price: $340,000-$680,000 Artist/Song: G Unit's “Poppin’ Them Thangs”
The Mercedes model can trace its roots back to World War I, when Daimler first developed the vehicle. Close to 100 years later, it’s one of the most desired luxury cars in the world, with only several hundred on the road in the United States. And it’s no wonder: With a price tag of $300,000 for the most bare-bones model, few can afford one. G-Unit’s 50 Cent, however, is not one of them. As he raps on his group’s 2007 hit “Poppin’ Them Thangs”: “On the front of the Maybach, it say payback for those who hated on me.”
Item: BMW, Mercedes Benz, Bentley
Year: 2010 Price: $40,000-$340,000 Artist/Song: Lloyd Banks' “Beamer Benz or Bentley”
Lloyd Banks’ latest hit is a love song to the automobile. Now if he could only decide which wheels look best with his bevy of leather-clad ladies: the BMW, Mercedes Benz or the Bentley, which goes for $175,000 on the low end.
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