Slick Rick, Nicki Minaj

Slick Rick, Nicki Minaj, And More To Display Their Jewelry In American Museum Of Natural History Exhibit

Iconic staples of jewelry throughout hip-hop history are set to be on display inside the American Museum of Natural History.

Iconic staples of jewelry throughout hip-hop history are set to be on display inside the American Museum of Natural History.

To expand on New York City’s celebration of 50 years of hip-hop, the city’s famed Natural History Museum announced the “Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry” coming on May 9, a press release announced. Created to showcase the profound impact of hip-hop culture, “Ice Cold” highlights the art form’s influence through the tailor-made jewelry adorned by iconic figures like Slick Rick, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, and more.

A large variety of dazzling jewelry creations will be on display to take visitors on a visual journey through the evolution of hip-hop from the 1980s to the present day. Pieces include Slick Rick’s legendary gem-encrusted crown, the Notorious B.I.G.’s iconic gold ‘Jesus piece’, the ice-out Roc-A-Fella medallion that represented the record label co-founded by Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj’s bejeweled ‘Barbie’ pendant.

Other rappers who have agreed to have their jewelry pieces on display include A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, A$AP Ferg, Tyler, the Creator, and singer Erykah Badu.

“Ice Cold will truly spark a sense of excitement and curiosity into our world of jewelry and baubles as an extended form of hip-hop culture which has inspired the global stage as an extension of our art,” hip-hop icon and Ice Cold senior advisor Ricky “Slick Rick” Waters said.

“This collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History is a harmonious blend of creativity and cultural significance. I’m very honored to be a part of creating a unique and immersive experience for the Museum’s visitors in such a renowned space in the mecca of New York City.”

The exhibit will start with the oversized gold pieces rap pioneers in the 1980s used to shape the early stage of hip-hop culture and move into the 1990s when rappers turned into business moguls and started to use their jewelry to market their record labels. Following the art form’s exponential growth in the 2000s, the exhibit will show how rappers’ jewelry became more multi-colored and avant-garde to incorporate elements of hip-hop, pop culture, and high fashion.

“These jewelry pieces are not just magnificent in and of themselves, they’re an important part of hip-hop history and hip-hop culture as artists claimed and transformed traditional symbols of luxury and success,” Sean M. Decatur, President of the American Museum of Natural History said.

“Hip-hop jewelry has had a huge impact on our wider modern culture, and we are excited to provide our visitors the opportunity to see these remarkable pieces, especially in the context of our Mignone Halls dedicated to gems and minerals.”

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