Hip hop has always had a profound impact on the fashion world, and some of the most beautiful jewelry trends have been influenced by legendary musicians and hip hop performers.
Hip hop icons from Pharrell to A$AP Rocky show off their style by donning trendy jewelry pieces like thick chains, eye-catching pendants, diamond studs, and gold grills. Hip hop trends are at the forefront of jewelry style as the hip hop world respects the status that jewelry brings. In 2022, the hip hop world continues past trends and breaks into new jewelry territory.
Streetwear jewelry trends express a bold attitude immersed in rebelliousness. These trends range from thick chains to sleek leather bands.
The current styles are characterized by in-your-face accessories like layered chains, studded rings, and iced out wrist watches and bracelets. Expect this to continue, and new self-expressive additions, like immaculate and personalized pendants, to dominate hip hop’s 2022 jewelry fashion.
1. Chains, Chains, and More Chains
It’s no secret that gold chains are synonymous with hip hop culture. A fresh gold chain, like a Cuban link choker, is a representation of success in the hip hop business. It displays an artist’s accomplishments because high-quality chains are a significant investment. Chains are an industry staple that can be seen as part of most hip hop fashion trends.
Gold chains first appeared on the hip hop scene in the late ‘80s with the rap group Run DMC. They are popular among successful rappers and hip hop fans alike, acting as a status symbol. There are many types of chains you can incorporate into your look, but some of the most prominent styles to look for in 2022 are:
The Cuban link gold chain is a staple in hip hop jewelry. A Cuban link chain is extremely versatile, mixes classic style with contemporary design, and is seriously durable. Its rope weave and oval links characterize the Cuban link design.
It is made to accommodate personalization, as jewels can stud the links and pendants, easily attaching to the chain. Even without the additions, the Cuban link gold chain elevates an outfit for special occasions and gives a nod to ‘80s hip hop stars that first brought the chain to the limelight.
You can buy Cuban link chains in various lengths and thicknesses to reflect your style. You can also purchase multiple types of Cuban chains and layer them for a bold statement piece that shows you’re confident and stylish.
Jewel studded chains
The original gold chain is the base for more elaborate contemporary designs. In 2022, you’ll see celebrities and hip-hop fanatics wearing personalized gold chains with a bit of sparkle. Cuban chains provide a flat surface for diamonds or diamond pave for a striking look that will catch the eye.
Cuban chains also support big jewels for boisterous style statements. Large gold chains with huge rubies are a great choice for a unique look in 2022 as the chunky looks of the ‘90s resurfaced. Many people are opting for thicker chains in place of the thinner styles that were dominant in the early 2000s, so don’t be afraid to embrace the boldness of this look with some gemstones and hefty gold links.
Highly personalized pendants
Another indication that thick chains and large accessories are on the horizon is the recent interest in pendants. Hip hop artists display status with their chains and personality with their pendants. Choosing a pendant that has meaning to you will be a hot trend in 2022 and will allow you to proudly share your values as part of your style.
A pendant serves as the focal point of all hip hop jewelry due to its typical placement directly in the center of the body. This attracts the most attention. Hip-hop pendants come in a wide range of designs and sizes, but they are typically constructed of well-liked precious metals like platinum, gold, or silver. They are encrusted with priceless stones like emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, among others.
Crosses, other religious symbols, circular gold pendants, and gemstones inlaid in a thick gold border are the most popular pendant styles. Personalize your jewelry by matching unique chain colors with your pendant. For instance, you could layer rose gold chains with the longest chain donning a rose gold diamond cross pendant to complete the look.
2. Attention-Grabbing Rings
Rings were once reserved for royalty, but they are now a hip hop jewelry style staple. The question has shifted from whether to wear a ring to what ring you should wear. Rings are wrought with symbolism, making them an ideal jewelry piece for self-expression. They have been imbued with meaning ranging from civil rights messaging to music label affiliation.
While a hand’s dimensions affect what size ring you should wear, the hip hop trend heading into the new year is to go bigger when possible. Invest in rings that are relatively large on your fingers, emphasizing eye-catching colors and designs. Look for chunky, thick gold pieces with large gemstone settings or multiple diamonds inlaid for an iced-out look.
Pinky rings are especially popular in the music industry, commonly appearing in music videos and on red carpets.
3. Ice for Your Wrist
Intricate watches with plenty of diamonds and Cuban linked bracelets continue to be a popular choice for hip hop stars and others interested in hip hop culture.
Hip hop has moved past the refined style of an all-black Movado, name-dropped by Biggie Smalls in Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s “Get Money (Remix).” While some stars still sport relatively sophisticated timepieces, like Drake’s Rolex Day-Date or Tyler the Creator’s Cartier Santos-Dumont, the trend favors big-time bling.
Wristwatches in the hip-hop world are dominated by diamond-studded bezels, flashy dials, and complicated movements. They are typically large, with cases measuring over 40mm, and come with unique features like Hublot’s cut-out dial or Frank Muller’s surrealist numeral hour markers.
From Cartier to Rolex watches, all the biggest brands are vogue in hip hop’s jewelry trends. These watches make a statement about the status of a hip-hop star because they are high-end accessories. Expect the luxurious and over-the-top watch trend to continue and bracelets featuring diamonds and thick links to complete the look.
Compatible and personalized bracelets
Heading into 2022, thick bracelets accompany high-end luxury watches on the wrists of those in the hip-hop community.
Gold bracelets fitted with large rubies or symbolic designs will become a staple of the hip hop style next year. You’ll also see more bracelet personalization to match the custom pendant trend seen on hip-hop neck chains. Look for chunky curb or Cuban link bracelets featuring iced out charms or custom engraving.
Stay On-Trend With Self-Expressive Jewelry
The hip-hop world is at the forefront of jewelry innovation because the stars value self-expression and status. 2022 looks to be a time full of personalized jewelry, specifically in pendants, rings, and bracelets. Meanwhile, gold chains are here to stay with the thick, chunky links of the ‘90s reappearing. It’s an exciting time to embrace the current styles and ensure your jewelry reflects your style.
A little history
Hip hop jewelry was created as the genre became more well recognized. Rappers like Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Slick Rick started to take over local airwaves in the early 1980s, and they instantly gained fans from all social strata. Fans brought record sales, and record sales brought money—a lot of it. Considering that many rappers started out in poverty, acquiring hip-hop jewelry was like earning a badge of achievement. Although jewelry has long been a prestige symbol, rappers didn’t need just any bling. They wanted everyone to know how much hip hop jewelry meant to them as a symbol of how far they had come.
The connection between hip hop and jewelry is virtually symbiotic. In a cultural setting, it is virtually hard to discuss one without the other because they both affect how we perceive one another. Hip hop jewelry isn’t the way it is just to show off; rather, it’s a representation of the struggle one had to go through to achieve success and is intended to inform people of their achievements. As Hip hop has developed into the most prominent culture in the world, things haven’t altered that much. Simply said, the stakes are higher, the chains flashier, and the attire is “flier.”