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American Museum of Natural History x Ice Cold x Slick Rick

Source: Janette Beckman / Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery via AMNH

A new exhibition focusing on the role of jewelry in Hip-Hop culture and global culture overall will be hosted at the American Museum of Natural History.

An undeniable facet of Hip-Hop culture lies in the way that its stars have worn custom-made jewelry pieces. Now, the public will get to gain an appreciation of that up close as the American Museum of Natural History has announced that they will play host to a new exhibit on the topic. Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry will open at the institution May 9.

The exhibit will be a continuation of New York City’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop and gains its inspiration from the recent book of the same name released by the German publisher, Taschen. Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry will be housed in the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery in the Museum’s Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.

The exhibition will feature such items as the gold “Jesus piece” worn by The Notorious B.I.G., the diamond-studded Roc-A-Fella medallion inspired by the label co-founded by Jay-Z, Slick Rick’s noted crown encrusted with gems, and Nicki Minaj’s unique diamond “Barbie” pendant among numerous other pieces. Visitors can check out the exhibit with general admission to the museum.

Ice Cold will truly spark a sense of excitement and curiosity into our world of jewelry and baubles as an extended form of hip-hop culture which has inspired the global stage as an extension of our art,” said Hip-Hop icon and Ice Cold senior advisor Slick Rick in a statement. “This collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History is a harmonious blend of creativity and cultural significance. I’m very honored to be a part of creating a unique and immersive experience for the Museum’s visitors in such a renowned space in the mecca of New York City.”

The advisory board also includes Roc Nation executive curator Lenny S. Santiago, Pete Nice, television host Bevy Smith, and author Tanisha Ford.

“Jewelry is a cornerstone of hip-hop culture and you can see the evolution of jewelry alongside the rise of hip-hop itself,” said Ice Cold guest curator (and author of the Taschen book), Vikki Tobak. “From being a culture formed in communities and neighborhoods, and then stepping into its power and starting to impact global pop culture, hip-hop, and its jewelry tell a bigger story.”