The History Of Grillz: From the Early 80's Until Today
Grillz have been around since the early 80’s with Atlanta Rappers like Kilo Ali and Raheem The Dream. The trend spread quickly up north when a New York jeweler named Eddie Plein started making grillz for NY rappers. Out of his shop named Eddie’s Gold Teeth, he made teeth for Flava Flav (gold caps), and subsequently outfitted Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap from the Juice Crew. Eddie Plein then took his shop to Atlanta where he renamed it Eddie’s Famous Gold Teeth. Once in Atlanta he continued to innovate in his craft and he created increasingly eleborate grills. During the 90’s & 00’s, Eddie “Grillz” Plein made eye-catching grillz for OutKast, Goodie Mob, Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins, Lloyd, Ludacris, Nas and many more.
Grillz however were never isolated to the South or New York, and during the mid 90’s jewelers in Oakland, California, were part of a evolution in the style of grillz. But up until the early 00’s grillz were predominantly worn by African-American hip-hop fans, mostly males, around the age of 18 and 35 years old. However, in 2012 that was about to change when Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte started wearing grills during competitions. When he one day wore a grill with the “Stars & Bars” of the American flag, which grabbed the attention of the national media. After this “grillz” became a thing and the mainstream became aware of the several decade old style.
During the 2010’s many celebrities jumped on board with the grill trend, including actresses Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne , and singer Rihanna. In 2015 DJ Khaled made the definite “grillz” song for the modern era with “Golden Slugs” featuring Chris Brown, August Alsina and Fetty Wap.
Grillz have now been around for three decades and seem to be more popular than ever with todays trap/rap artists creating new styles of grillz. Many of today’s rappers wear grillz that have all the colors of the rainbow. However if you’re interested in some old school styled grills for yourself, that won’t break the bank, head over to Retro Hip Hop Shop today. They have all kinds of styles, from silver or gold, to iced-out or plain metal, and even modern Grillz ;)