May 03, 2021
The Notorious B.I.G. wrote and created some of the biggest rap albums of the 90s. While the rapper's talent alone gained him a vast following, his sense of style also made him a trendsetting performer. In this blog, we'll focus on some of the most iconic and memorable jewelry and fashion trends inspired by The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G.'s Jesus piece chain is arguably one of the most recognized jewelry items in rap history. The Jesus piece featured a customized, carved, golden face of Jesus with diamond studs embedded in the details of the design. The pendant hung from intricate gold rope chains and had an instant impact on hip-hop fashion culture.
To this day, Snoop Dog, Jay-Z, and Kanye West have all worn different versions of the Jesus piece to emulate The Notorious B.I.G. and honor his legacy. This necklace also inspired more trends like iced cross pendants and other powerful religious imagery on gold chains. The Notorious B.I.G. has always been famous for his choice in gold chains, but the Jesus Piece stands out as one of his career's most memorable fashion choices.
In 1996, The Notorious B.I.G. was involved in a near-fatal car crash that severely injured one of his legs. However, he wasn’t the type of performer to let any injury ruin his sense of style. Instead, he used his injury as an opportunity to make a mark on fashion and set new trends.
The rapper reinvented his style by focusing his fashion on classic accessories and 1920s mobster suits. He wore vintage three-piece suits and hats that all emulated this retro period in history. However, the real focus of his new style was a gold-tipped cane. Although the cane was a medical necessity, The Notorious B.I.G. used it to symbolize his high status in the music industry. This channeling of past aesthetics was pivotal in steering hip hop fashion in new directions.
The Notorious B.I.G. didn't just revamp rap style; he also ruled it. In an interview with Rolling Stone, The Notorious B.I.G. wore a gold, iced-out crown and solidified himself as rap royalty. This accessory added power and charisma to his music persona and directed hip-hop fashion toward indulgence and a celebration of decadence and excess.
That Rolling Stone interview has inspired performers who want recognition as rap royalty to elevate their style in this way. For example, rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne have recreated the iconic image of The Notorious B.I.G. wearing his crown. However, the use of power and noble evocation as an aesthetic will always be a fashion and jewelry trend inspired by The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G. used his fashion and jewelry to elevate his rap persona and solidify himself as a trendsetter in the music industry. His choices in jewelry and accessories are still influential in hip-hop culture and style today. Here at Gold Presidents, we offer a wide array of jewelry pieces to help you establish your own style or channel the fashion of past icons. To browse more pendants, chains, and diamond jewelry, check out our website.
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