Hip-Hop Jewelry on Display at ‘Ice Cold’ Museum Exhibition


Over 80 pieces of hip-hop jewelry are on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as part of a new exhibition.

Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry chronicles the evolution of jewelry in hip-hop over the past five decades, starting with the oversized gold chains that were embraced by rap’s pioneers in the late ’70s and moving through the ’90s, which gave rise to iconic pendants such as Notorious B.I.G’s gold ‘Jesus piece’ and the diamond-studded Roc-A-Fella chain. There are even pieces from more contemporary artists, such as Tyler, the Creator and Ken Carson.

The exhibition was curated by Vikki Tobak, journalist and author of Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History, along with co-curators Kevin “Coach K” Lee, founder and COO of Quality Control Music, and Karam Gill, creative director and filmmaker behind the 2021 documentary series ICE COLD. The trio worked alongside an all-star advisory board, with members including Slick Rick, LENNY S., and jeweler Alex Moss, among others.

What does bling have to do with natural history? Well, jewels all start out as naturally occurring minerals. The exhibition is appropriately on view in the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery within the Museum’s Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, which feature exhibits that tell the story of how the vast diversity of mineral types formed on Earth, and how they have been used for personal adornment, tools, and technology.

Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry is now open to the public and is currently set to run through January 5, 2025. Grab a preview of the pieces on display below.

The Notorious B.I.G’s gold ‘Jesus piece’
A$AP Rocky’s LEGO pendant
Tyler, the Creator’s bellhop necklace
Ghostface Killah’s eagle bracelet
Juice Crew ring owned by Roxanne Shanté
Nas’ Queensbridge chain
Joey Bada$$’ ‘STEEZUS PIECE’ in honor of the late Capital STEEZ
Drake’s “Crown Jewel of Toronto” pendant
Ken Carson’s grill set from the ‘A Great Chaos’ cover
Bad Bunny’s grill set
Roc-A-Fella pendant made in honor of the record label co-founded by Jay-Z
Nicki Minaj’s “Barbie” pendant
Slick Rick’s crown and eye patch
adidas necklace from Jam Master Jay of Run D.M.C.
Fat Joe’s Terror Squad necklace


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