Hip-hop has a clear tone and essence that has made it just as respected as staple music genres, like pop and rock. A lot of this comes down to the talent and finesse of every single unique artist in the game right now.
But hip-hop wasn’t always as respected as it is now, and most rappers started from nothing and have now created immense success through art. They’ve deserved the right to be proud, and there’s no better way to prove success than with jewelry.
Rappers have long been in competition with one another, consistently trying to out-do each other with the biggest, brightest, and baddest chains in the game. But which rappers reign supreme? Who owns some of the most expensive rapper jewelry?
Jay-Z’s 11 Pound Cuban Chain - $200k
The most iconic piece of hip-hop jewelry is by far the gold chain. Popularized by legends likeNotorious B.I.G, it’s hard to call yourself a rapper if you don’t have one of these in your arsenal.
But Jay-Z took things a step further by requesting a custom-made Cuban chain that weighs 11 pounds. It’s hard to imagine that this didn’t cause some neck soreness the next day, but it was definitely worth it. This custom Rafaello & Co piece made Jay-Z look like the hip-hop royalty that he is.
The great thing aboutCuban chains is that they’re classy, nuanced, and simple regardless of their size. They make for great additions to any look. And if it lets you feel a little bit like Jay-Z, why not throw one on?
Kanye West’s Horus Chain - $300k
Kanye West is a front-running hip-hop artist. There are very few performers in general who have been able to secure such a broad influence over pop culture, but West is definitely one. He evenran for president during the 2020 election, proving that his divisiveness has extended past music itself.
This “in-your-face” persona is present in the way he carries himself physically as well. When West performed at the 2010 BET Awards, he sported a massive pendant depicting the Egyptian god Horus. The pendant is a solid gold custom piece from renowned designer Jacob & Co. This would garner a hefty price tag on its own, but considering the pendant is bigger than West’s head, he had to drop over a quarter million on the piece.
The chain that the pendant hung from was just as stunning. It’s a thick, goldenmariner chain that’s about as thick as his forearm. It’s a fitting accompaniment to the Horus pendant that got people talking just as much as he was probably hoping.
Megan Thee Stallion’s Hot Girl Necklace - $425k
Hip-hop has long been dominated by men, but recently, women have been completely changing the game. Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Doja Cat are symbolic examples of evolving rap culture.
But perhaps there’s no greater example of women changing the game quite like Megan Thee Stallion, who has garnered so much success in so little time. She’s earned the right to flaunt a $425k custom pendant from Elliot Eliantte.
The self-proclaimed “Hot Girl” wrote those same words on this pure diamond pendant that weighs a total of 155 carats. And this wasn’t given to her by a friend or family member -- she bought this piece as a birthday present for herself.
Takeoff’s Solar System Chain - $500k
The Migos are known for their catchy beats and memorable lyrics that just get stuck in your head. And while Quavo and Offset have each made their own successful solo careers, Takeoff might have proven that he’s the best off on his own, purely based on his intricate solar system piece.
This is an iced-out mariner chain with multiple pendants attached throughout. The medallions include planets, stars, suns, and even a rocketship right in the center. His name is Takeoff, after all.
It’s an amazing piece to look at, and it truly puts him at the center of the universe. With every single link and planet covered in diamonds, it’s hard to believe that Takeoff didn’t spend even more on this complex design.
Lil Jon’s Crunk Chain - $500k
While many rappers are able to bend and mold the genre to their own specific style, there are few artists who are able to come up with an entirely different genre itself.
Lil Jon is one of those rappers. He brought Crunk music into mainstream culture with his iconic raspy tone. He was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the early 2000s, with many artists using him as inspiration today.
This equates to a lot of success, and he proved that with a Guinness World Record-breaking custom word pendant that reads “Crunk Ain’t Dead.” In 2007, it was the biggest diamond pendant to ever exist. Although it set him back half a million dollars, it definitely put him ahead of the pack.
Gucci Mane’s Twin Panther Chain - $500k
Gucci Mane is a pioneer of trap music, working alongside Atlanta-based rappers like T.I. He’s a powerhouse performer whose popularity has barely dwindled since his early 2000s prime.
This might be because he continually proves to his competition that he’s on top. He unveiled a jewelry piece of his own design in 2017 that featured two panthers biting opposite ends of three stunningclustered tennis chains. The chain boasts over 4,500 total diamonds and weighs an astonishing 165 carats.
Considering that most diamond engagement rings have a weight of about 1 carat, you can only imagine what it must feel like to be able to wear such a crazy piece.
Pharrell’s N.E.R.D Chain - $1 Million
Pharrell is the brains behind some of the most well-produced music currently on the market. While his style now is more nuanced, there was once a time where Pharrell carried himself just as boldly as someone like Kanye West.
A prime example of this is his custom N.E.R.D chain. This mariner chain is blinged out all over, and each individual link is a different color diamond. The centerpiece pendant itself has diamond-studded caricatures of him and his bandmates.
It’s a colorful and vibrant piece that is also highly personal to him. Of course, that means he dropped $1 million on the entire thing. This has cemented him as one of the Kings of hip-hop.
Rick Ross Face Pendant - $1.5 Million
While Rick Ross has his fair share of hits, it’s his production style that really sets him apart from many other rappers in the game. Often named the hottest MC in the game, Ross is a force to be reckoned with. And considering he owns the most expensive chain known to date, he has proved this with ease.
Ross wore a solid gold and diamond custom pendant of his own face in 2008. The highly detailed piece looks exactly like him, and the extravagant design probably took months to make.
But in typical Rick Ross fashion, he took this a step further a few years later when he wore a chain of himself wearing a chain of his own face. It’s a hilarious piece that naturally ran him $1.5 million. Few people could pull off wearing a piece of jewelry of themself quite like him.
Lil Uzi’s Forehead Diamond - $24 Million
Lil Uzi has always been known for being a bit “out there,” but no one could have expected his latest stunt. The renowned rapper got a 10k diamond implanted into his forehead.
While the huge diamond itself would probably blow away the competition on this list by itself, the procedure also helped raise the unfathomable $24 million price tag. Doctors had to use a process called atransdermal implant, where the giant gem was anchored under his skin.
This is typically done on objects up to 8mm in length, but Uzi’s diamond is much larger than that. It’s just another example of the depths that rappers are willing to go in order to prove their success.
Rappers are known for their iconic jewelry and personalities just as much as their music. And with so much competition in the genre itself, everyone seems to be trying to out-do one another with the biggest and priciest chains.
Figures like Takeoff and Megan Thee Stallion haven’t been afraid to drop half a million on custom pieces. But even then, legends like Rick Ross have been able to triple that in singular pieces alone.
Of course, no one might ever come close to Lil Uzi’s $24 million diamond implant that’s just as unique as his personality. He has set the bar extremely high, so it will be interesting to see what the future of rapper jewelry has in store.