Though plenty of rappers wear chains, there was once a time when the chain made the rapper. In the hazy days of the early noughties, the Rocafella chain was the pinnacle of all accessories, a medallion that summed up the ostentatious swagger of hip hop and its surrounding culture at the beginning of the decade. This was a chain to end all chains. A chain so important it had to be bestowed publicly on its owners as if they were being knighted, a ceremony most famously seen in the video for ‘Through the Wire’, the breakout track for one of Rocafella’s greatest products, Kanye West.

The Rocafella chain calls to mind the excess and bling of early noughties hip hop, immediately transporting you to a club full of big booty video girls wearing heeled Timberlands with magnums of Cristal covered in sparklers. If you need more convincing of its importance, don’t forget this chain finally let the public know about the worst kept secret in music; Jay Z and Beyonce’s relationship. When Jay Z spat, ”I got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain” in the ‘Public Service Announcement’ video as it cut to Beyonce proudly sporting the apex of hip hop jewellery, looking fine as hell, they let the world know once and for all she was part of the Rocafella dynasty.

This is an extract from the Spring Issue of Viper Magazine. Read more from the magazine here. Buy physical and digital copies here.

Illustration by Ed Ruxton
Words by Lauryn Tomlinson

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