Bling blingBling bling
is a hip hop slang
term which refers to expensive jewelry and other accoutrements. The word gained acceptance in the mid- to late 1990s
as a result of gangsta rap
music and videos, which frequently glorified high class clothing, jewelry and other possessions. Specifically the song "Bling Bling" by The B.G initially popularized the term, along with other songs by The B.G.'s record mates, the New Orleans
-based Cash Money Millionaires.
Mainstream hip hop music's fixation on bling bling and other material and luxury goods has led to much criticism from media pundits and musical critics. They charge that the phenomenon promotes consumerism and materialism, and strengthens racist arguments that young African-American men (the large majority of "bling blingers") are incapable of higher or more virtuous or spiritual goals than material gain.
Some of the most vocal critics of "bling bling"-oriented music are alternative hip hop artists. An example of this is the group Dead Prez, from "Hip Hop" :
- all y'all records sound the same
- I'm sick of that fake thug, R&B-rap scenario, all day on the radio
- Same scenes in the video, monotonous material
- Y'all don't here me though
- These record labels slang our tapes like dope
- You can be next in line and signed; and still be writing rhymes and broke
- You would rather have a Lexus? or justice? a dream? or some substance?
- A Beamer? a necklace? or freedom?
Bling bling can also mean something cheap in southwest Asia. For example, if you are looking for the fake Rolexes and Oakleys, you would ask the salesman for the bling bling specials.