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 evolved as my life evolved,” A$AP Ferg writes in Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry Story, from Taschen next month.

A collection of nearly 500 photographs, the 388-page book chronicles the history of hip-hop from the 1980s to the present day, told through the jewels and gems that adorned the genre’s biggest personalities – in image and rhyme. From Run-DMC’s gold rope chains to Jay-Z‘s Roc-A-Fella pendant for Cardi B‘s diamond encrusted name tag necklace, Ice cold explores the relationship between ornamentation and identity through vivid images and thought-provoking personal essays from Ferg and pioneers including Slide Rick and LL Cool J

Below, you can see some of the sparkling multi-finger rings, glittering gold grills and other statement jewelry on the sides of Ice cold:

Jay-Z, 18 years old in this photo and still unknown in hip-hop, was serious about his jewelry from the start. While attending a photo shoot with friend and rapper Jaz-O, Hov wore a double gold rope with an anchor pendant, tiger nugget watch, king cobra pendant, tiger four finger rings and Gucci link bracelet. The Gucci joint was popularized by the Gucci brand, but it is formally known as a marine joint, consisting of large oval joints that are flattened or hammered together.

Timothy White, Brooklyn, New York, 1988

Eric B. & Rakim

Scott Wippermann, New York, 1988

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