How poor are people, these days? So poor that rappers can't afford to wear half-million-dollar chains any more! That's the thesis of a story which is surely false (nobody could ever really afford to wear a half-million-dollar chain), but it raises the question: what is the post-bling thing?
The WSJ finds that the comically oversized pendant industry may be in peril:
"A lot of these rappers simply don't have the money for real stuff anymore," says Jason Arasheben, who crafts custom jewelry for wealthy clientele, including Saudi royals and Hollywood movie stars, at his California boutique called Jason of Beverly Hills. "It's to the point where they are wearing imitation jewelry, and that's ridiculous."
Consider what's at stake here: we would lose the opportunity to idly play "Who has the most idiotic chain?" (Answer: Rick Ross, pictured, with himself as a pendant). Luckily for rappers, there is a template to follow in this situation. Country music has known how to combine flashy style and low cash for decades. Meet the future of hip hop fashion totems:
[WSJ. Related: Since when did the WSJ start hiring reporters who can casually use hip hop slang in stories and sound competent, rather than sounding humorously stiff like, you know, WSJ reporters trying to use hip hop slang in stories? WHAT'S THE WORLD COMING TO YO?]