Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

A retrospective on some of the most absurd pieces in rap.

BYHarrison Tenpas
Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Decadent jewelry has long been a staple in hip hop. From the bulbous gold ropes that Run D.M.C. rocked, to the diamond-flooded chokers that are everywhere today— statement chains have definitely stood the test of time, not necessarily in the sense that these chains are still wear-able present day, but in the sense that, we will vividly remember them for a time to come, as well as the rappers who owns them. As rap is often a game of one-upmanship, the competition to have the biggest, most expensive piece has resulted in some possible missteps over the years, but memorable nonetheless: comically large pendants, 7-figure price tags, and World Record-breaking proclamations that crunk ain't dead all litter the past few decades of the rap landscape.

With the constant use of Instagram and social media in general these days, it's easy to get lost in the glitter and flashiness of a rapper's jewelry. It's commonplace for a rapper to use their diamond-flooded watch or necklace as the focal point of any given Snapchat or Instagram Story, a quick look at just how much they can rock on a single wrist alone, or else, an inside peak into an extensive jewelry collection, beyond just the watch, depending if the artist is in pure flex mode.

On top of getting glimpses at their day-to-day jewelry-heavy outfits, we often are able to see new pieces debuted right on social media by the artist themselves, giving fans a first look at the latest iced-out pieces. Not only that, we are sometimes treated to a 'behind-the-scenes' look at any chain's creation these days, as chances are, the jeweler who was commissioned to create the piece is sharing that on his Instagram too. 

In rap's storied history, some chains have ventured into ridiculous territory, but they're also beautiful in their own way. From the inspiring, to the innovative, to the just plain absurdly massive, they've made a lasting impression. What follows are some choice pieces from the annals of rap: including the good, the bad, and the battery-powered. 

Which chain is your favorite?

Plies' Fitted Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Plies has rocked a few chains over the years that are worth mentioning: his ski mask medallion, his flooded-out license plate, and of course his gold piece that straight-up weighs 7 kilos. The crown jewel in Plies' collection, however, has to be his Goon Affiliated diamond-encrusted fitted. Designed to commemorate the Florida rapper's fourth studio album, this gaudy piece is roughly the size of a human fist and comes in the shape of a New Era fitted hat. You gotta tip your cap to Plies for this conventionally head-scratching piece of jewelry. Check out some other Plies' jewelry highlights below, too.

Rick Ross' Chain Of Himself Wearing A Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Rick Ross has donned several chains that are all worth a not-so-small fortune. He also has a couple of pieces that are a particularly creative tribute to himself—and his necklaces. In the mid-2000s, we're talking 2008, Rick Ross was often spotted on a red carpet with a large chain that featured his own face, encrusted in yellow diamonds. He would later take things up a notch, two years later. Famously featured in a 2010 Nike commercial, Ricky Rozay commissioned a piece that seemingly paid homage to his older chain of his own face, which the bust of himself now rocking a chain of himself-- chain inception. This piece worn by the Bawse is the jewelry equivalent of holding two mirrors up to each other. Flooded with diamonds, this absurd, unique piece is not an optical illusion. Check out both chains below.


Kanye West's Horus Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Anchored by a medallion of the Egyptian deity Horus, Kanye West's ridiculously massive gold chain is one of the largest pieces of jewelry to ever be worn in the history of hip hop. The Chicago rapper first appeared with the stunning statement piece at the 2010 BET Awards, leaving the world to marvel at his all-encompassing commitment to going above-and-beyond. Even assuming the 24-karat piece is hollow—its weight if it weren't would be comical—this Jacob the Jeweler joint still has an alleged price tag of $300k. 

Mike Jones's Ice Age Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

A lot of folks reading this in 2017 might be saying "Who?", but Mike Jones' was a major figure in rap back in the mid-2000s. In fact, so successful was the Houston rapper, he was able to drop a straight-up million dollars on a chain. With a pendant that fittingly says "Ice Age", this 7-figure piece of opulence sports over 100 karats worth of diamonds. This ridiculous necklace was, believe it or not, stolen from Mr. Jones in his sleep by one of his friends. Luckily, he had it insured. 

T-Pain's Big Ass Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

There is absolutely nothing subtle about this one. Broken out by T-Pain in 2009, this big ass chain that fittingly bears the words "Big Ass Chain," is a massive, diamond-filled piece that sits atop the Florida rapper's collection of absurd jewels. Coming in at an estimated $400k, this necklace weighs over 10 lbs and has nearly 200 karats worth of diamonds—which is kinda tragic since, again, it says "Big Ass Chain."

The mid-to-late 2000s were good to T-Pain, so you can't slight the guy for indulging a bit with this blockbuster piece of jewelry. It should also be noted that T-Pain has a chain dedicated to bottle service that has to be seen to be believed. 

Soulja Boy's The World Is Yours Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Soulja Boy at one point claimed to have spent over $3 million on jewelry. That's a ridiculous figure, but not one that's unbelievable for the "Crank That" rapper, who has had some gaudy pieces over the years. His flagship piece, undoubtedly, has to be his massive "The World is Yours" chain, which is encrusted in white diamonds and sports a price tag of about $500k. The message of this piece is definitely an inspiring one, and after Soulja Boy claimed that (slightly exaggerated) $400 million deal a while back, there might be some truth to it. 

He rocked the chain in the "Pretty Boy Swag" video, which you can catch below.

Pharrell's N.E.R.D. Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Back in 2006, Pharrell was seen wearing a multi-colored, absolutely-flooded piece that turned a lot of heads. Crafted by the legendary Jacob the Jeweler, Skateboard P's massive chain featured a ton of diamonds and other precious stones, giving it an incredibly bright glow. Adorned with a pendant that featured the three members of his group N.E.R.D., this one of a kind chain matched the aesthetic of BBC and BAPE in the mid-2000s—flashy and bright. The super producer didn't go cheap on this piece, either, with its estimated value coming in at over $1 million. 

Lil Jon's Crunk Ain't Dead Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

It would be disingenuous to describe Lil Jon as anything other than an icon. The Atlanta producer lent his loud, raspy voice to a string of hits in the mid-2000s, and was instrumental in introducing crunk to the mainstream. In 2007, a case could be made that crunk was waning in popularity, but Lil Jon bought a chain that aimed to dispel the world of that notion—and it got him a place in the record books. 

Weighing over 5 lbs and standing nearly 8 inches tall, Lil Jon's $500k "Crunk Ain't Dead" chain was—at the time—the largest diamond pendant ever, and it's grandiose stature was immortalized in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

Ghostface Killah's Versace Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Ghostface Killah is a virtuoso talent as an MC. The Wu-Tang legend from Staten Island has long been known for cruising in his own lane musically, but he's frequently done it with his jewelry as well. Often worn with a massive gold-plated eagle bracelet, as seen below, Tony Starks has been known to don a chain that features an absolutely huge Versace logo medallion. He rocked it on The Pretty Toney Album cover. Conservatively estimated at $40k for the pendant alone, Ghost's piece serves as a tribute to the pioneer of ridiculous hip hop jewelry: Slick Rick. 

Jay-Z's 11-Pound Cuban Link Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Jay-Z is rich. He'll be the first person to tell you that. Hov, to his credit, does gravitate toward an understated sense of style—even if it's quietly more expensive than anything you've ever bought. Back in 2013, Mr. Carter was seen with a chain in the classically subtle cuban link design...only it was the biggest one ever made. At an estimated $400k, this whopping 11-pound yellow gold piece may have been a nod to the past, but it was a modern flex on a scale that only Jay-Z knows.

Drake's Stone Island Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Drake is clearly a fan of all things UK. The Toronto rapper is known to be obsessed with Top Boy, and he's made a considerable effort to bring grime to North America. The anglophile from the Six also appreciates another English staple: Stone Island Clothing. The incredibly expensive, Italian-designed menswear line often features a tag on the sleeve bearing the brand's compass logo. Drake used this classic piece of soccer hooligan iconography as an inspiration to make a massive, diamond-encrusted pendant. Coming in at only $100k, it's not the rapper's most expensive chain, but it's definitely a level a brand loyalty you don't see very often. 

This chain got plenty of coverage from its creators and Drizzy's personal Instagram, as you can see below.

Custom diamond #StoneIsland piece commissioned by @champagnepapi via @benballer for #TheBoyMeetsWorldTour #IFANDCO

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I met @champagnepapi at the Apple Store in the Beverly center in 2008. From that day on I fucked with The Boy heavy. I was picking him up from the airport, getting him cars, trees and showing him my city like a real big homie does. #SoFarGone dropped and shit hit the fan. Then #ThankMeLater, then #TakeCare and He would take me on tour to be apart of the show giving out chains to random girls in the audience. One time at a sold out show in San Jose, Drake forgot where we were because he screamed out "LA what's good???!!!!" And that Bay Area crowd boo'd 😭LOUD😩. It felt like that southwest commercial, Wanna get away? I back stepped off that stage dumb fast 😂 In 2012 I started my family and he became the biggest superstar in the 🌎 and we lost communication... So 9 years later were here in Manchester U.K. to finally have our full circle moment. More life and more jewels to come bro #OVO #TheBoyMeetsWorldTour #IFANDCO #StoneIsland

A post shared by BEN BALLER (@benballer) on

@lilduke60 and me out here every night doing road 😈🆗

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

I made this #StoneIsland piece for The Boy during his #BoyMeetsWorldTour (@stoneisland_official was the main sponsor for Drake's tour) 888 grams of gold total (custom hermes link) 79 carats in 💎s (Triple A black diamonds, green diamonds and natural canary diamonds). It is EXTREMELY difficult to mix green diamonds with a black diamond background. But WE DID THAT @ifandco We could have easily went white on white, but it wouldn't have been as legendary. #OVO #MoreLife #IFANDCO #LightWork #Drake

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UK Town Benny dropped off a classic @benballer @teo_rivetti @tiarivetti

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Lil Uzi Vert's Marilyn Manson Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

Philadelphia's Lil Uzi Vert is a rapper who is uniquely in tune with his dark side. This past summer, Uzi has had people triumphantly singing "All my friends are dead," and according to some, his name is a play on the dark lord himself, Lucifer. With that in mind, it's no real shock that he has an affinity for goth rock legend Marilyn Manson— he's even gone so far as to get a chain in honor of him. 

Costing an estimated $220k, this Ben Baller-designed piece boasts over 60,000 diamonds, and sports a pendant of a churlish Marilyn Manson in a Mickey Mouse hat. It's definitely one of the more expensive, bizarre chains in the game right now. 

He first showed off the homage to his favorite artist on Instagram, check it out in its shiny glory below.

🥇🔥....2 ® @benballer

A post shared by 16 (@liluzivert) on

Takeoff's Solar System Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

As one of the hottest rappers in the game, it's not surprising that Takeoff is rocking a chain whose focal point is the sun. The Migos man's Instagram flex flaunts an out-of-this-world price tag of $500k—just edging out Quavo's "Ratatouille" piece for most expensive chain bought by a rapper this year. Featuring a space shuttle emblazoned with the YRN insignia, Takeoff's statement piece also features a miniature version of the solar system that's soaked in diamonds. 

Take a closer look at the chain below. In all fairness, each Migos member has been killing the chain-buying game as of late, and could all earn a. spot on this list.

SweetDreams ✨

A post shared by Eliantte (@elliotavianne) on

Put Dat Lil Shit Up

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Sweet Dreams

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Cam'ron's Battery-Powered Harlem World Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

The mid-2000s saw a lot of novelty chains, many of which are featured on this list. From Lil Jon's "Crunk Ain't Dead" piece, to Mike Jones' cartoonish "Ice Age" medallion, the aughts were a golden era for ridiculous jewelry in hip hop. But just as he and his Dipset cohorts were putting out some of the best music— period— in that era, Mr. Cameron Giles was also ahead of the curve when it came to uniquely creative jewelry. 

Killa Cam was an ice pioneer when he broke out his battery powered "Harlem World" piece. Featuring a globe that actually spun, Cam'ron's diamond-flooded mechanical neckwear set a new standard for ridiculous chains—one that may never be topped. 

Watch Gabriel Jacobs of Rafaello & Co. Jewelers talk about the process behind this chain's creation below.

Slick Rick's Justice Scale Chain

Top 15 Ridiculous Rapper Chains

No list of ridiculous hip hop jewelry would be complete without the ruler himself, Slick Rick. A legend by any definition possible, MC Rickey D was rocking a quarter-million in jewelry in the mid-80s—in other words, a lot earlier than anybody else. Usually anchored by his trademark justice scale medallion that's the size of a dinner plate, Slick Rick famously wears up to a dozen necklaces, countless rings and wristwear, and yes, sometimes even a crown— appropriate for absurd chain royalty.

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