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What is a Jesus Piece - History & It's Place in the Hip Hop World

on Aug 23, 2023

The Jesus Piece has transcended its roots as a religious symbol to become an iconic staple in hip-hop culture. This piece of jewelry, often encrusted with diamonds and made of precious metals, serves not only as a tribute to one's faith but also as a statement of success and personal style. In this article, we'll delve into the history of the Jesus Piece, its significance in hip-hop, and why it continues to be a sought-after accessory today.

What is a Jesus Piece

Jesus Piece

A Jesus Piece is a pendant that often features the face of Jesus Christ, usually adorned with a crown of thorns, which can be encrusted with diamonds or other precious stones. While it originates as a symbol of Christian faith, resembling traditional cross pendants, its significance has evolved over time. In the hip-hop industry, the Jesus Piece has become a cultural icon, donned by numerous famous rappers throughout their careers.

Wearing a Jesus Piece is often considered more than just a fashion statement; it's a personal emblem that can signify various meanings. For some, it symbolizes the arduous journey to achieve success in a challenging industry, serving as a tribute to a higher power they believe helped them reach their goals. For others, it's a reminder to stay grounded and authentic despite the trappings of fame and fortune.

History of Jesus Piece: Who wore it first?

Biggie Smalls Jesus Piece

Contrary to popular belief that Kanye West was the first to popularize the Jesus Piece in 2004, it was actually Notorious B.I.G., also known as Christopher Wallace, who first wore a Jesus Piece in the hip-hop scene back in the mid-'90s. Crafted by jeweler Tito Caicedo, Biggie Smalls purchased three Jesus Pieces for a total of $30,000. He even referenced the iconic pendant in his hit song "Hypnotize," the lyrics: "So I just speak my piece, keep my piece (come on, now) Cubans with the Jesus piece, with my peeps (thank you, God)" []

While Kanye West did make the Jesus Piece more widely recognized when he sported one crafted by famed jeweler Jacob the Jeweler, he was not the originator of the trend. He did, however, help propel its mainstream popularity, making it more than just a hip-hop accessory but a cultural symbol.

Who wore it after him?

Jay Z Jesus Piece

Following the trend set by Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z was the next big name in hip-hop to be seen rocking a Jesus Piece. He wore it prominently on the cover of XXL Magazine in 1999. Some speculate that the pendant Jay-Z wore was actually one of the three originally owned by Biggie Smalls.

While there's no definitive evidence to confirm who wore it first or who owned which pieces, the fact remains that both Biggie and Jay-Z were instrumental in making the Jesus Piece a staple in hip-hop culture and jewelry.

Shop Jesus Pieces

For those who are captivated by the cultural significance and aesthetic appeal of the Jesus Piece, has an array of options available. Offering both White Gold and Yellow Gold pieces adorned with VVS Moissanite diamonds, the website provides an accessible route to owning a piece of this iconic jewelry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Biggest Jesus Piece Ever Created?

If size matters to you, then you'll be interested to know that the largest known Jesus Piece was specially crafted for rappers Flo Rida and Rick Ross. This extravagant piece has caught attention on social media and truly exemplifies the grandeur that can be associated with these religious yet fashionable pendants.


Do You Have to Be Religious to Wear a Jesus Piece?

While the Jesus Piece has its roots in religious symbolism, it has since transcended those boundaries to become a mainstream icon in hip-hop jewelry. In essence, you don't need to obey any religious beliefs to wear one. The piece has evolved to symbolize various aspects of life, success, and individuality.

Last Words

The Jesus Piece has moved from religious artifact to mainstream sensation, gaining iconic status in the world of hip-hop and beyond. It signifies not just faith, but also success, struggle, and personal style. Whether you're looking to make a statement, pay tribute to your own journey, or simply add some bling to your look, a Jesus Piece is the perfect pick.

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