There comes a point in a rapper’s career where they receive their very first chain, or they level up with brand new jewelry around their neck. Often the momentous occasion marks both accomplishment and wealth.
Specifically, J. Cole depicts a “chaining day” on his 2013 track of the same name. Cole vividly rhymes about the moment a rapper gets an expensive chain after signing a record deal. Particularly, signing to a more seasoned rapper as a cosign.
Flashy jewelry in hip-hop dates back to its popularization in the 1980s. At the time, MCs like LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane and Run-D.M.C. flaunted chunky gold rope chains. By the 1990s and the new millennium, chains escalated to a new level. As seen on Jay-Z, Diddy, Birdman, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and others. Neck pieces then, and even now are larger, flashier and definitely more pricey.
In some cases, a chain could be a token of appreciation. Drake once gifted his go-to collaborator 21 Savage an OVO chain. And in return, 21 gave Drizzy a 4L chain. Other times, jewelry could commemorate a special event. Jay-Z gave his longtime friend Memphis Bleek a Roc-A-Fella chain for the 25th anniversary of the Reasonable Doubt album. And of course, rappers give each other chains to symbolize respect and camaraderie. Playboi Carti and YoungBoy Never Broke Again were presumably dropping a collaborative album this summer. The rumored collab was celebrated with a new chain that Carti purchased for YoungBoy.
XXL takes a look at the surprising moments when rappers gifted each other chains. Check out the gallery of hip-hop artists receiving blinged-out neck pieces in recent years.
See Surprising Times Rappers Gave Each Other Chains
Which rapper has the iciest chain?