Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History

Vikki Tobak     Recommended by    

Whether it’s diamond-encrusted grills, oversized “truck” style chains, bust-down Rolex and Patek Philippe watches or a Tiffany necklace, jewelry is a cornerstone of hip-hop culture. Glittering, blinged-out jewels are the shining statement of a collective identity: unapologetic, charismatic, and street savvy.

Spanning the history of hip-hop jewelry, from the 1980s to today, Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History is a stunning compilation of storytelling and visuals. Hundreds of extraordinary images of every major hip-hop artist on record celebrate how “Ice” has become a proclamation of identity and self-expression.

Starting with Run-DMC’s gold Adidas pendants and Eric B. & Rakim’s ostentatious dookie rope chains and Mercedes medallions, the jewelry then transforms from street style into a booming design culture. The hip-hop tradition of “show up and show out” reaches new heights with artists like Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Gucci Mane, and Cardi B, whose over-the-top pieces integrate unique pop culture references, unconventional materials, and enduring collaborations with artists like Takashi Murakami.

Author Vikki Tobak reveals – in great detail – the work of pioneering jewelers such as Tito Caicedo of Manny’s, Eddie Plein, and Jacob the Jeweler as well as newer artisans such as Avianne & Co., Ben Baller/IF & Co., Greg Yuna, Johnny Dang, Eliantte, and many more.

Ice Cold is a treasure trove of dazzling, inspirational style, featuring the work of leading photographers, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Janette Beckman, Jamel Shabazz, Timothy White, Gillian Laub, David LaChapelle, Danny Clinch, Chris Buck, Mike Miller, Phil Knott, Raven B. Varona, Al Pereira, Albert Watson and many more.

A foreword by hip-hop superstar Slick Rick and essays by A$AP Ferg, LL COOL J, Kevin “Coach K’ Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas of Quality Control Music take us on personal journeys into their jewelry universe.

Ice Cold goes beyond the ostentatious bling to reveal a transformative story that is loud and proud.

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