Why do rappers wear gold teeth, may seem like a strange question to most, but it is often asked by those who want to know more about urban and hip hop culture.
Those who inquire about it are curious as to why someone would melt gold or platinum into the shape of their teeth, and put it in their mouth. But what they don’t know is that people have been putting gold caps or gold wire and plates onto their teeth for centuries.
The oldest finding of gold plated teeth and also gemstones on teeth can be traced back to ancient times in Africa. In this post I will address the culture of gold teeth (also known as “Grillz”) and why rappers and other people of other cultures flaunt them on a daily basis.
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A Brief History Of Gold Teeth:
- 2000BC: Ancient Egyptians replaced and bound teeth using gold wire and plates.
- 800AD: Mayans adorned their teeth by drilling small holes in them and filling them with gemstones like jade.
- 1855: The infamous Dentist Robert Arthur improved on Giovanni d’Arcoli’s technique by using the less expensive gold foil instead of gold leaf as fillings, making it accessible to a wider range of consumers.
- It’s good to point out that in certain regions of the world , especially in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Countries, Central Asia, and the Caucasus Regions, gold teeth are worn as a status symbol; a symbol of wealth…. installed in the place of healthy teeth or as crowns over filed down healthy teeth.
- 1980s/1990s: In this era Eddie Plien brings gold teeth to hip hop outfitting rappers like Flavor Flav, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap. He later moves to Atlanta and opens Eddie’s Gold Teeth where he becomes the go-to guy for hip-hop’s elite.
Why Do Rappers and Other Cultures Have Gold Teeth?
We can go on and on about different rappers and entertainers who now sport a gold grill/teeth. But as you can see gold teeth have been around for centuries and started in Africa. Before the Egyptians there were many Nubian people; who are said to be the oldest civilization on earth, who wore gold chains, rings and teeth as a symbol of status. And now a days that is why rappers wear it in their mouth. Having gold teeth didn’t start with rappers, but rappers definitely made it famous and popular to wear them.
In any society where you find people wearing gold teeth it served as a symbol of pride and status. it showed people that the people wearing it had money and can afford to put it in your mouth. It served and still does serve as an accessory to those who wear it, just like a bracelet or ring.
People have different ways of expressing themselves, and having a gold teeth is one of them. It say that I’ve made it and have money to prove it. Wearing gold teeth is not a bad thing, it’s just a way to display that you’ve finally reach a point in your life that you have the money to buy gold and show it off proudly to the world.