As a co-worker said just now: you gotta hand it to The Wall Street Journal for their dogged pursuit of new angles on the “Oh God! No Money!” story (don’t forget last week’s):
The recession is cramping the style of hip-hop artists and wannabes — many of whom are finding it difficult to afford the diamond-encrusted pendants and heavy gold chains they have long used to project an aura of outsized wealth.
In an attempt to keep up appearances, celebrity jewelers say rappers are asking them to make medallions with less-precious stones and metals. Some even whisper that the artists have begun requesting cubic zirconia, the synthetic diamond stand-in and QVC staple.
Readers learn, among other things, about how “rapper 50 Cent” “whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III” “has relished the chance to accuse his musical adversaries of not glittering like gold,” including “rapper Rick Ross… whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II.” (Which reminds me of this CJR article about how “the mainstream press” tends to mention rappers’ birth names as well as their stage names — unlike with, say, Elton John or Alice Cooper).
Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.