Hip Hop Jewelry and the Youth Counter Culture

Posted By : Phineas Gray , on Dec, 2014


Music genres take on a whole different personality in that each one remains distinct and unique from one another. Hip hop as a music genre and as a culture started around 1970 when block parties became a thing among the African American youth residing in the Bronx, New York. Characterized by its rhythmic beats and often accompanied by gritty and tough-toned rap, it became a parallel for the rough experience of the youth living and growing up on the streets.

Today, it has gone beyond just being a music style to embodying a facet of counter culture among young people the world over. It has also inspired a whole fashion style best epitomized by hip hop jewelry. As with any fashion accessory, they elicit either praise or disgust depending on who is beholding them. Among fellow youth, these are icons of their struggle to have their voices heard. Among those who don’t subscribe to the same manner of expression, they’re loud, gaudy pieces that only serve to accentuate what they perceive is wrong in the young people of today.

The truth is that hip hop jewelry is grounded in valid points made by both sides. They are effective icons that encourage expression which can also be gaudy and too loud when flaunted haphazardly. So, how does one achieve a balance between the two competing views to come up with a harmonious middle-ground that those who are into hip hop can effectively parlay into a proper avenue of self-expression?

Have a Message

The first thing to figure out is to decide what kind of statement you’re trying to make with your hip hop jewelry. This is important because they come in a lot of designs that highlight the specific concepts that make hip hop roll. The most popular of these is the giant US dollar symbol. But there are also others that come in the shape of firearms or fists.  For most people, all of these are representing a fight against the establishment or even salient concepts like poverty.

Wear it in the Proper Context

With sensitivities running high in the world, it’s often important to consider where you flaunt your hip hop jewelry. It’s always best to be brave, bold and brash when in the company of friends who will appreciate it. Though it’s tempting to go out and be all tough, it isn’t such a smart idea as it could be harmful for you in the long run. It’s always ok to speak your mind and express yourself, but know what you’re living for.

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. That has never been more true than with hip hop jewelry. It’s not something that everyone likes or enjoys, but it can make for a powerful expression of what you believe and hold dear.

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