The “Bling-Bling” Culture…a sick lifestyle?


Why Africans shouldn’t copy the extravagant lifestyle of African American Rappers.
Bling-Bling (or simply bling) is a slang term that refers to flashy or elaborate jewelry and ornamented accessories that are carried, worn or installed, such as cell phones, massive neck chains, watches,

logos, rings, tooth caps etc. The concept is popularized in hip hop culture, and is mostly associated with rappers, especially African American rappers.
The ‘bling’ lifestyle is to throw lavish parties at exclusive venues. Believers drive excessively costly luxury cars and wear very expensive or customized watches, chains, huge rings, glasses, hats etc. At times their clothes are worth as much as cars for ordinary people. More so, they try to live in Beverly Hills-style mansions and lavish money on very expensive wines and whiskeys.
Many could argue that stars can spend their money anyway they like. The only problem with that defense is that famous people are supposed to be role models (good or bad) to their fans and the youth. The result of this ‘bling’ life-style is that fans try to copy and think…it is the “cool” thing to do. But the consequences on individuals are devastating.
African celebrities as well as some ruling political, business and public administration elites, see lavish lifestyles as the standard for achievement. This encourages them therefore to use shortcuts to get rich quickly rather than working or studying hard. The ‘bling’ lifestyle has now become the new standard for achievement: …a sign that “one has made it”. Those whose finances do not compare to the celebrities or even classmates that practice the ‘Bling’ life-style try desperate and risky approaches to make money fast enough so as to catch up or try not to be seen as “Not cool” by their peers.
These shortcuts could be attaching oneself to a sugar daddy, or in politics to a political party boss, or a crime boss or drug lord.
The more unfortunate ones, who do not have the connections or looks, try their luck at addictive gambling or lottery. They dream one lucky draw will bring fabulous wealth. Others resort to crime to reach their dream of practicing the ‘bling’ culture. Nobody needs to work or study hard anymore. Everyone is looking for a shortcut. In the midst of grinding poverty, it would be a disgrace for Africans to copy this life-style, be they celebrities or ordinary people. Besides there is growing disdain for this lifestyle regarded as originated from pride, arrogance, materialism, extravagance, vanity, a show-off, pure competition and lack of self-confidence.
Diamonds (a staple of Bling fashion) occasionally originate as conflict diamonds, fueling wars, poverty, slavery and killings in Africa. In a turn of events, hip-hop celebrities: Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Paul Wall (maker of diamond grills) and Reggaetón king Tego Calderón have visited Sierra Leone to see what devastation the diamond trade has caused its people. The movie “Blood Diamond” has also thrown light on the bloody origin of some of the Diamonds.
Several hip hop artists have made the deliberate choice not to wear expensive jewelry as a statement against “bling” culture. Excessive “bling” is getting out of fashion.