The Notorious B.I.G.’s Jewelry To Be Showcased At American Museum Of Natural History Exhibit

Items from The Notorious B.I.G. and other rap stars’ jewelry collections are being put on display for the public to view in an upcoming exhibit documenting Hip-Hop’s storied relationship with bling.

Beginning on May 9, Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry will be showcased at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In addition to trinkets previously worn by The Notorious B.I.G., the exhibit will include jewels from A$AP Rocky, Nicki Minaj, Slick Rick, Erykah Badu, and Tyler, The Creator.

The American Museum of Natural History president Sean M. Decatur touched on Hip-Hop’s love affair with jewelry and the status embodied by the possession of such ornaments.

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“Hip-hop jewelry has had a huge impact on our wider modern culture,” said Decatur in a statement. “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.”

Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry follows a string of projects released centered around the cultural fixation on bling and excess. In 2021, filmmaker Karam Gill unveiled Ice Cold, a documentary series about Hip-Hop and jewelry executive produced by Migos and featuring commentary from Lil Baby, Slick Rick, Lil Yachty, A$AP Ferg, and French Montana.

Slick Rick Wearing Jewelry

Slick Rick performs onstage during #TBT Night Presented By BuzzFeed at Mastercard House on January 25, 2018 in New York City.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Mastercard

The following year, author Vikki Tobak released the book Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History, a hardcover book which documents the importance that jewelry has held in Hip-Hop as a “proclamation of identity and self-expression.” Described as “the definitive history of how Hip-Hop blinged out and redefined the world of jewelry, luxury, and style,”