A Short (Non) FIlm: Gold Teeth

Words by Matthew Spence:

They may not straighten your teeth like braces (aka teens’ worst enemy next to anxiousness), but do braces have fire-ass rap songs dedicated to them? What is “No” Alex. Ghetto to some, class to others. Culture for one, fashion for the next. Some may look at Halle Berry in B.A.P.S as tacky, others see an iconic look. There is a correct answer by the way.

B.A.P.S. (1997)

Gold mouth jewelry, whether singular caps or a full set of grillz, packs so much punch, authority, and flare. Je ne sais quoi, if you will. All in such a small (and possibly pricey as fuck) package. Centuries have gone by us and days go by (in Men I Trust time), it’s still around and feels more golden. Pun Intended or no pun intended, pick one. Its origins: to keep it short (because it’s in the title), around 700 B.C, it. started becoming a concept with the Estrucians taking it into practice, super fast forward to the 1980s, and Black and Brown people in the Bronx started to wear them. Now we’re here. A staple in Black culture.

Growing up, I’ve never really thought much about it nor really appreciated it. Hell, in my childhood, I was worried about my Jamaican parents catching me watching Dipsets’ “Killa Season”, not about thinking about the significance of what was in Nellys’ Mouth.

Now as an adult, I appreciate what they mean for many, including mself. Reasons for their use have evolved in different directions now, of course. Some need to get a gold tooth for beneficial dental reasons. Dentists say golden crowns are durable. Others may get grillz because they saw A$AP Ferg and Pharrell with them. Maybe someone wants to represent the idea we are Kings and Queens, while others may get them for the aesthetic after watching too many A$AP Rocky videos. No judgment, shit, I got a nose hoop because of MF DOOM (Zev Love X/KMD era) and Kurtis Conner (seriously).


Photo: Zev Love X in the “Peachfuzz” video

Hip-Hop, Style, Creativity, Culture… Black. It embodies all in one. As years continue to pass by, I hope that never changes. Plus, gold looks good on us



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