Yup, you heard that right. Rappers are trading their blings/diamonds for cubic zirconia. According to Miguel Bustillo of WSJ, the recession hit rappers so bad that they can no longer afford the diamond pendants and heavy gold chains – which automatically qualifies them to the wealthy status.
In an attempt to keep appearances, celebrity jewelers say rappers are asking them to make medallions with less-precious stones and metals. Some even whisper that the artists have begun requesting the cubic zirconia, the synthetic diamond stand-in and QVC staple. Hip-hop luminaries with the cash to keep it real are appled. Bling aficionados fret the art of “ice” is being watered down.
Rapper 50 Cent has relished the chance to accuse his musical adversaries of not glittering like gold. During a radio interview, the artist, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, taunted rapper Rick Ross for wearing faux and rented jewelry. “Everything that you see has to absolutely be fake,” said Mr. Jackson. Rick Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, has denied the claims. Mr. Jackson didn’t return requests for comment. “A lot of these rappers simply don’t have the money for real stuff anymore,” says Jason Arasheben, who crafts custom jewelry for wealthy clientele, including Saudi royals and Hollywood movie stars, at his California boutique called Jason of Beverly Hills. “It’s to the point where they are wearing imitation jewelry, and that’s ridiculous.”
Mr. Arasheben designed the colossus of hip-hop jewels three years ago for rapper Lil Jon: an enormous gold necklace that spells out “CRUNK AIN’T DEAD” with 3,756 round-cut white diamonds (Crunk is a southern rap subgenre that Lil Jon — real name, Jonathan Mortimer Smith — has struggled to keep alive). The neck-straining piece, which weighs more than five pounds, was recognized in 2007 by Guinness World Records as the largest diamond pendant on Earth.
credit: wsj, shopping blog