THE UNTOLD STORY OF HIP HOP JEWELRY
Development, Production, Post Production, Marketing Campaign
THE AMERICAN DREAM
There’s a racial double standard to what is acceptable when it comes to expressing success and style through jewelry. Why are pop culture icons like Elizabeth Taylor celebrated for their glamor, while musicians like Slick Rick are labeled as ostentatious?
LET’S LOOK DEEPER
We built a custom museum to display hip-hop’s boldest jewelry pieces and showcase paintings of rap history’s most “iced out”’ superstars. In such a contradictory world, we literally put black and brown culture where it should always have been: on a pedestal.
In addition, we directed and produced marketing assets to support the release.
The four-part accompanying docuseries was acquired by YouTube Originals in 2021 and had its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
EPISODE 1: THE PROMISE
With Reaganomics in full force during most of the 1980s, American society glorified themes of materialism and opulence. However, the majority of black and brown communities were unable to participate in this new American Dream. Through these factors and more, jewelry emerged as a way of demonstrating wealth and has since become rooted in hip-hop culture.
Episode 2: THE TROPHIES
Hip-hop culture evolved during the 90s and jewelry was a key component for any rapper or label looking to make a name for themselves. Gold and diamond logo chains defined some of the biggest rap conglomerates in the 90s like Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records and Suge Knight’s Deathrow Records.
Episode 3: THE WORLD
Behind the scenes are a handful of hip-hop jewelers that move millions each week to service today’s biggest rap superstars. These jewelers have bravado and confidence that screams success in every way. After all, these craftsmen are selling millions of dollars worth of ice each day and their personalities have to be larger than life.
Episode 4: THE ARTFORM
The final episode culminates with a holistic look at the evolution of rap music and the jewelry industry. It illustrates how luxury brands did everything possible to distance themselves from hip-hop culture, but have since become desperate for rapper affiliation. It’s an example of how big the genre has become and the sheer resilience of black & brown culture.