The most iconic jewelry from hip-hop history will be on view at AMNH

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If you know anything about hip-hop, then you understand that it’s not just a genre of music—it’s an entire lifestyle, complete with its own lexicon, fashion and accessories. 

The American Museum of Natural History is going to pay homage to some of the most iconic custom-made jewelry in hip-hop history with its exhibit “Ice Cold,” which opens May 9 in celebration of the genre’s 50th anniversary. 

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The exhibition will showcase jewelry from the 1980s until today and will include Slick Rick’s gem-encrusted crown, the Notorious B.I.G.’s gold ‘Jesus piece’, Nicki Minaj’s sparkling ‘Barbie’ pendant, and pieces from Erykah Badu, A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, A$AP Ferg, and Tyler, the Creator, among many other legendary pieces of bling, according to a press release. 

The exhibit is also going to highlight the evolution of hip-hop jewelry throughout the decades, starting with the oversized gold chains that were popular in the 80s, to the diamond and platinum pendants that were all the hype in the 90s, and all the way to the more colorful and flashy anything-goes type jewelry of the 2000s that has permeated even the most exclusive corners of high fashion. 

“Jewelry is a cornerstone of hip-hop culture and you can see the evolution of jewelry alongside the rise of hip-hop itself,” said Ice Cold guest curator Vikki Tobak. “From being a culture formed in communities and neighborhoods, and then stepping into its power and starting to impact global pop culture, hip-hop and its jewelry tell a bigger story. This exhibition explores that world of hip-hop’s culture of adornment and celebrates the pioneering artists and jewelers who made it all come together.”

The exhibit will appropriately be shown in the museum’s Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, which houses two of the largest amethyst geodes on display anywhere in the world.

You can access the “Ice Cold” exhibit when it opens on May 9, which is included with a general admission ticket. You can get your tickets here

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