When someone says rap or hip-hop, there is one person who almost always comes to mind: Kanye West. There are few people on planet Earth who have the societal influence that West has curated for himself, both through his music and his own personal life.
Highly respected for his original beats and stellar samples, West knows how to lay down a track and breathe fire all over it. His successes in the recording studio have translated into the political sphere, where he ran apresidential campaign in the 2020 election.
Of course, marrying Kim Kardashian has only elevated his fame, making him one of the most influential (if divisive) pop culture icons of the modern day, although their marriage.
Kanye West is a lot of things, but if there is one thing that he isnot: it’s humble. West loves to brag and show off, and rightfully so. He built his career from the ground up, and he deserves to show off how much he’s accomplished.
The best way for a hip-hop star to prove their worth is by decking themselves out with stunning jewelry from head to toe. West has even taken that a step further by launching his very own line. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing pieces that West has sported in the past, as well as how you might be able to get your hands on something similar.
Horus Chain and Pendant
In 2010, West opened for the BET Awards by emerging from a volcano and performing his hit song “Power.” The set, performance, and his stage presence were eye-catching, to say the least, but a lot of this probably had to do with the insane piece of jewelry that he had hanging around his neck the whole time.
West wore a 24k gold chain that held onto another 24k pendant representing the Egyptian god Horus. The thing is, the chain was the width of his arms and the pendant was larger than his head.
This not-so-subtle piece was pretty in line with West’s personality, but it didn’t make it any less shocking to see. But even more shocking is the price tag. The custom-made link chain and pendant from Jacob & Co cost him $300,000 -- each.
Hip hop stars don’t have much of a problem dropping racks on pieces like this, but you can still look pretty great without shattering the bank account to such an extent.
In all honesty, there’s really no way to replicate the huge necklace that West had worn to the BET Awards. But also, no one needs to wear such a huge piece like that in their everyday life. Finding the perfect balance between subtlety and flashiness is the key.
Egyptian symbolism makes for popular pendant designs because they are universally recognizable. They have an authentic feel and represent royalty or prestige.
Something like aBaguette Pyramid Pendant would even have Kanye West feeling a little bit jealous. With hand-set baguette stones studded all over a uniquely shaped medallion, you’ll really stand out in a crowd. Get it plated with 18k gold to feel just like Kanye, or maybe go with white gold to define your own personal style.
As for the chain, West wore a mariner chain, which is reminiscent of nautical life. They’re sturdy chains that have a lot of surface area, so gold-plated pieces look particularly icy, especially when loaded with diamonds. A15mm Mariner Chain definitely isn’t as huge as West’s, but it will get the job done without weighing you down.
Takashi Murakami Jesus Pendant
Takashi Murakami is a Japanese contemporary artist known for colorful, poppy, and vivid art styles that blur the lines between high and low art. He’s known for his paintings, but he has also made his way into the world of jewelry to create custom pieces for high-profile celebrities, including Kanye West.
The piece is a variation of the well known Jesus pendant that is commonplace around the necks of many rappers. However, this solid gold piece is loaded with colorful diamonds, cartoonish eyes, and stars, making for a contemporary take on a classic staple of hip-hop jewelry. It ran for an estimated $75,000.
Getting your hands on a Murakami piece of jewelry is harder than getting your hands on one of his paintings. And that’s already nearly impossible. Luckily, the Jesus pendant is so popular that you can easily get one of those for your daily wear.
Showing your devotion to faith through jewelry is a perfect way to be proud of your beliefs without sacrificing a look. Jesus pendants are especially great for this, because they have a large surface area that combines the sleekness of solid gold plating with the iciness of diamonds and gems.
ABig Jesus Piece Pendant is a classic for good reason. With five times real 18k gold plating and hand-setted flawless VVS simulant diamonds, this is a piece that will be impossible not to notice. It has an essence of prestige and class that is unmatched by most other pieces.
So even though it doesn’t have quite the same “punch” as the Takashi Murakami alternative, sometimes the classics are classics for a reason.
The Yeezy Line
Music and politics weren’t enough for West. He has such a love for jewelry that he even launched his very own Yeezy jewelry line. This allowed him to market his jewelry to the public, while also allowing him to custom-make designs that he loves to wear even more.
West launched twelve different pieces that were inspired by 14th-century Florentine art. With help from designer Jacob Arabo, they created a line of pieces that represent champions and royalty.
Most of them are medallions with the image of women imprinted on the surface. They’re extremely unique pieces that both he and his wife Kim are constantly showing off on runways or on the streets.
But even though this jewelry line was marketed to the public, most of the pieces run for about $10,000 each. This might be modest for people like West and the Kardashians, but this is steep for anyone who is looking to have a luxury look without spending luxury prices.
You don’t have to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks. In fact, the Yeezy pieces lack the shine and luster of pure gold that makes gold jewelry so attractive in the first place.
Go for something that can combine the polish of 18k gold with the icy feel that diamonds can convey. Something like thisHamsa Hand Pendant would make Yeezy wearers jealous. And with a much lower price tag, you could get ten of these for the price of just one Yeezy medallion.
West’s jewelry line is only expensive because of the name and brand associated. Looking like a rap god doesn’t require you to be one. You can master the craft of jewelry-wearing in an efficient way without breaking the bank.
When you’re as big as Kanye West,controversy is doomed to happen. And since West seems to love getting people talking, he used his jewelry as a means of discussion.
West got himself into some hot water when he wore a WWJD nylon bracelet. The acronym stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” and it was a way for him to show his devotion to faith.
Especially now, it’s important that bracelets make a bold statement. Black nylon won’t do that, but aRound Cut Diamond Tennis Braceletwill easily catch the attention of anyone walking by. It’s sleek and feels just as unique as something West would wear.
You can even attach aDiamond Cross Pendant to match West’s religious medallion while maintaining a truly icy look.
Kanye West has a huge personality that’s enhanced with some truly unique pieces of jewelry. Pieces like his giant Horus pendant and his Takashi Murakami custom pendant are notable inclusions that are representative of his success.
His own jewelry line, Yeezy, is even attainable to pretty much the most elite hip hop stars in the game. The good news is that there are several alternatives on the market that embody the exact same essence but don’t come close to the outrageous prices.
On top of that, some of them look even better than the things he’s worn. So even if your bank account leaves you feelingHeartless, you don’t have to be aGold Digger to lookFamous.