Thursday, February 24, 2011

WHY THE JESUS PIECE? Hip-Hop Culture's Fascination with the Pendant

A JESUS PIECE is a depicted face of Jesus adorned with diamonds and platinum/gold/silver hung on a heavy chain. In hip-hop culture, the Jesus Piece is a symbol of making it in the hip-hop community, it pays tribute to Jesus...all you have to do is wear the loud accessory on your neck. But what combines such symbolism of religion together with hip-hop? Though there isn't an exact answer, it may have to do with the struggle these artists have faced in a world full of failure and criticism. Though it has been a rough road to get to where they are now, the Jesus piece signifies their success in a dog-eat-dog world, where they glorify their blessings.
Urban Dictionary defines: "The Jesus piece, and other styles of large pendants worn with rope style jewelry have been a staple of hip hop youth culture for nearly thirty years. Presently, hip hop artists and fans alike use the Jesus piece as a symbol of being "hood" or keepin' it real and being extravagantly wealthy at the same time. The Jesus piece testifies to the fact 'you can take the man out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the man.'

In many hip-hop songs, artists use the materialistic item in one of their verses:
"Cubans with the Jesus piece" -Notorious B.I.G., Hypnotize. See the video here:

"I'm far from religious but i got beliefs, so I put cannary yellow diamonds in my Jesus Piece" -The Game

"I stay fitted from the Polo fleece to the Jesus piece." -Kanye West

Notorious B.I.G. started this fascination with the Jesus piece that has made it's way to present day hip-hop culture seen on artists such as Kanye West (he has at least 3!), Jay-Z, Timbaland, and Kid Cudi. But this phenomenon is making it's way to non-hip-hop related celebrities such as Lebron James and Amber Rose, along with non-black celebrities like Pau Gasol, Louie Vito, and Trouble Andrew.
From diamond and gem entrusted designs that the usual hip-hop artist prefers to don, the Jesus piece is now becoming popularized in the form of colorful wood. Regardless if you're flashy or low key, the Jesus piece represents wealth and fame.

You Just Do You, Imma Do Me


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