Hip-Hop Fashion 101: Four Finger Rings

Radio Raheem's double four finger rings show their dualistic impact - Photo courtesy of @officialspikelee

Imagine walking down the street in Brooklyn in the late 80s and seeing a group of guys with what appears to be brass knuckles! Yikes, you might say! But on closer inspection, the item seems to be of a mostly ornamental purpose. That is the dual impact of the iconic four finger rings which gained popularity during the mid-to-late 80s in hip-hop culture. 

LL Cool J's four-finger rings pictured here show strength and confidence - Photo courtesy of @LLCOOLJ

The four finger ring originated out of the ever-increasing need to one-up your competition in hip-hop. As your status grew so did your jewelry going from a single ring to eventually ending up with full a four-finger ring. This extravaganza in the jewelry department was not only limited to rings as necklaces became "chains" weighing up in the pounds.

Big Daddy Kane was known for his style and his four finger rings show a suave and refined style - Photo courtesy of @officialbigdaddykane

Four-fingered rings are a typical status symbol which shows how much money you have as well as how tough you must be to have acquired such a ring. Its main associations can be stylish and classy or strong and confident depending on your overall style. The message you choose to display can range from explicit to hardcore to emotional, all depending on your taste. 

Today four-finger rings come in all price ranges and can either be full of bling, solid metal, with or without letters. The rappers who are most famous for wearing four finger rings are 80s rappers Big Daddy Kane and LL Cool J. But modern rappers like 2Chainz have also carried on the tradition proving that the four-finger ring is still alive!