Chains have been a part of the hip-hop culture since the beginning.  Ever since the 1980’s, artist have been rocking all kinds of gold chains, platinum chains, and everything in between.  This part of the culture has continued to thrive and evolve over the years, as artists like Jay-Z and Pharrell have kept challenging the limits of what others have done with their bling.

But, many fans out there don’t really know where this all started, and where it all came from.  If you’re interested in a little history on where hip hop jewelry came from, read on.

hip hop cuban link gold chainHip hop chains in the 80’s

While hip hop music actually began to take shape in the 1970’s, the movement itself did not truly gain momentum as a culture until the 80’s.  Hip hop was actually a convergence of two separate types of music, the music and the lyrics, which came together to create what we call hip hop.

As artists became more and more influential, they also began to make gains in both fame and money.  With the new found fortunes came new opportunities for the MCs to demonstrate their wealth.  For the most part, the majority of artists chose to do this with fly hip hop chains, especially mens chains, platinum chains, rope chains, and the infamous “dookie chain.”

It wasn’t long until some of the bigger names were trying to outdo each other, which has continued to this very day.

Hip hop chains in the 90’s

The 90’s was the period in which hip hop not only became a mainstream genre, but also developed many distinct sub-genres, including:

  • Gangster rap
  • New school hip hop
  • West coast and east coast rap
  • World hip hop
  • And more…

While all of these styles were an outgrowth of the original hip hop, each had its own distinct flavor.

During this time, rappers continued to step up their game when it came to hip hop chains as well.  Artists began flossing Cuban link gold chain, platinum chain, and pendants for men became a trademark during this period.


Today, hip hop music is one of the largest influences on world culture.  This also includes style; hip hop jewelry has become quite mainstream.

Professional athletes and artist in other genres are heavily influenced by hip hop culture, and can often be seen wearing hip hop clothes and jewelry, a cuban link chain, gold chain or platinum chain.  Medallions and pendants are also still very popular, and are getting more and more bizarre as time goes on.

It is no surprise that the world has been influenced so heavily from hip hop.  The raw lyrics speak to the individual and go beyond much of the more shallow pop music.  It follows that people will connect with the style as well- to represent outwardly the internal connection they feel with the culture.  Whether they do this with a cuban link chain, platinum chain, gold chain, or any other type of hip hop chains they are showing their love for a culture that has changed the world forever.