Ice Cold. a Hip-Hop Jewelry History
Whether it’s diamond-encrusted grills, oversized “truck” style chains, bust-down Rolex and Patek Philippe watches or a Tiffany necklace, jewelry is a cornerstone of hip-hop culture. Glittering, blinged-out jewels are the shining statement of a collective identity: unapologetic, charismatic, and street savvy.
Spanning the history of hip-hop jewelry, from the 1980s to today, Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History is a stunning compilation of storytelling and visuals. Hundreds of extraordinary images of every major hip-hop artist on record celebrate how “Ice” has become a proclamation of identity and self-expression.
Starting with Run-DMC’s gold Adidas pendants and Eric B. & Rakim’s ostentatious dookie rope chains and Mercedes medallions, the jewelry then transforms from street style into a booming design culture. The hip-hop tradition of “show up and show out” reaches new heights with artists like Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Gucci Mane, and Cardi B, whose over-the-top pieces integrate unique pop culture references, unconventional materials, and enduring collaborations with artists like Takashi Murakami.
Author Vikki Tobak reveals – in great detail – the work of pioneering jewelers such as Tito Caicedo of Manny’s, Eddie Plein, and Jacob the Jeweler as well as newer artisans such as Avianne & Co., Ben Baller/IF & Co., Greg Yuna, Johnny Dang, Eliantte, and many more.
Ice Cold is a treasure trove of dazzling, inspirational style, featuring the work of leading photographers, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Janette Beckman, Jamel Shabazz, Timothy White, Gillian Laub, David LaChapelle, Danny Clinch, Chris Buck, Mike Miller, Phil Knott, Raven B. Varona, Al Pereira, Albert Watson and many more.
A foreword by hip-hop superstar Slick Rick and essays by A$AP Ferg, LL COOL J, Kevin “Coach K’ Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas of Quality Control Music take us on personal journeys into their jewelry universe.
Ice Cold goes beyond the ostentatious bling to reveal a transformative story that is loud and proud.
Vikki Tobak’s work has appeared in Complex, Rolling Stone, The FADER, Mass Appeal, Paper, Vibe, i-D, and the Detroit News amongst others. She is the author of Contact High: A Visual History Of Hip-Hop and curator of the traveling exhibition of the same name. She is a former producer and columnist for CBS, CNN, and Bloomberg News. Tobak got her start as a culture editor for Paper magazine before going to Payday Records/Empire Management, working with groups including Gang Starr, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Show and AG, Jeru and other hip-hop legends.
“A 40-year deep dive into one of the genre’s greatest subcultures.”– “Hypebeast.com”
“It’s taken decades for the mainstream to embrace the bold aesthetic of hip-hop jewelry and the shift it has caused within the wider industry – a subject fully explored in TASCHEN’s Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History.”– “VOGUE”
“Hip-hop has forever changed how we look at jewelry. Now, the genre’s diamond-studded history is the subject of a new book.”– “VOGUE”
“[Ice Cold] traces the arc of hip-hop jewelry from the 1980s to today. Since its inception, hip-hop has shown the world how jewelry could become a living document, a testament to individual identity and the social order.”– “The New York Times”
“…a homage to all things glittering and gold… Ice Cold. A Hip-Hop Jewelry History document[s] that rich, illustrious relationship between style and music.”– “Vice.com”
“Decades of hip-hop decadence.”– “Rolling Stone”
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