Car emblems

Car emblems

Fashion Synopsis

It started with Mercedes. Then came VW, Honda, Cadillac… even Yugo got into the label lust when street kids turned car emblems and hood ornaments into jewelry. The urban street styling of rap and hip-hop influenced a lust for conspicuous consumption in the ghetto.

Like the Yuppies of the 80’s, the rappers of the 90’s displayed their wealth through status symbols. Hundred-dollar sneakers and designer track suits weren’t enough to separate the players from the scrubs, so boys flashed their cash with blatant idols of wealth like luxury car emblems displayed around their necks.

Mercedes symbols were first the real deal, stolen from cars, but soon were cast in gold when the real thing became too common. Like the giant ‘dukie’ chains of rap’s early years, the 90’s ‘gangsta rap’ lifestyle demanded defiant decadence, and chests were tangled in a mass of gold chains. Even rings became giant sized, spanning several fingers in diamond-studded gaudiness (Mr. T was the forerunner of the look, although rarely credited with being the trendsetter).

Larger than life gold dollar signs joined the car emblems to become instant symbols of success. A rash of robberies occurred when young kids would snap off the symbols from cars, but the market got wise and fashioned fake symbols to be bought on the street corners. The danger element may have gone down, but still, it was hard to argue with a big, gold, tri-spoked Mercedes symbol staring you in the face.

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