Bling Bling

Meaning of “Bling Bling”

The phrase “bling bling” is shortened as ‘bling.’ It refers to a term that shows flashiness or elaborate wearing of jewelry. The hip hop culture has popularized this term for anyone who adorns a lot of necklaces, bracelets, or wears ornaments with rhinestones. This phrase also applies to people who wear dresses with shiny sequins.

Origin of “Bling Bling”

The phrase “bling bling” was first used in rap by Dana McLeese known better as Dana Dane. He has used it in “Nightmares” in 1987 to refer to the background sounds. Later it won popularity through a song titled “Bling Bling.” Since then, it is used as a slang term with shortened form “bling.” The term was perhaps used in Jamaica around the same time, it became famous in the rap and hip-hop song genres.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Bling Bling Blues by Kevin Young

Once hunger
Was my dancer partner—

Now my diamond shoes
Hurting my feet

& that my wallet won’t
Fit my 50s

Are my chief complaints.

I’d like to thank
God, my agent.

My teeth went
Platinum last week.

My ride’s seats
Golden fleece.

My greeting: Dog,
Black, Honey,

Once every stranger
Was father—

The poem is referring to the singer’s past life of poverty. He compares his past life with his current rich lifestyle full of flashiness. He has beautifully summed up his entire life through this unusually short poem. Though he has been a pauper when hunger was his partner, now he has adopted a modern lifestyle after becoming a rich man. The metaphorical use of hunger has been put into contrast with the modern gadgets purchased with money including his platinum teeth.

Example #2

Bling, Bling, Bling by Sotirios Skoufis

And write
And write
All the day
And all the night
And talk
And talk
And when you can
Start to walk
And sit
And sit
In your heart
All can fit
And serve
And serve
Don’t expect
What you deserve
And give
And give
When they hurt you
Just forgive
And laugh
And laugh
All is love
From high above
And sing
And sing
Like a diamond you will shine

This beautiful modern poetry is one of the motivational poems with a few harsh facts of life. It talks against flashy life. Here ‘bling’ is a replacement word for shine or brightness, even when the situations are dark. It stresses continuing to do regular activities like reading, writing, helping. The writer also encourages us to stay positive, forgive when people hurt you.

Example #3

Bling Bling: Hip Hop’s Crown Jewels by Minya Oh, Andrea Duncan Mao

The writer and a host of a radio show, Minya Ho and Andrea Duncan Mao have taken a dig at the lives of different rappers to explore this flashy lifestyle that appears fascinating and glorious. They have deeply explored their appetite for flashy ornaments and their lifestyle. They have shed light on some rap legends such as Puff Daddy and Slick Rick to show Bling Bling style. The meanings of this phrase become clear when the reader ends this book, understanding fully about this type of lifestyle and its popularity.

Example #4

Bling Bling by Christopher Dorsey

Bling bling
Everytime I come around yo’ city
Bling bling
Pinky ring worth about 50
Bling bling
Everytime I buy a new ride
Bling bling
Lorenzos on Yokahama tires

The above chorus is from one of the oldest hip-hop songs. While the song doesn’t convey any real meaning, the extravagant, flashy dressing and boasting song style is used by most rap artists, who also do gangsta style rap songs. The above song is similar to the meaning of the phrase. The singer boasts about himself along with the ornaments he is wearing. He shows off his shiny new car and tires too.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “Wiley didn’t like when the motivational speaker kept boasting about his past. He said, We have not come here to hear bling; we are looking for the real message of this program.”

Example #2: “John not only believes in bling bling, but also makes himself look like one by wearing flashy shirts.”

Example #3: “Ramona always wears dresses decorated with rhinestones. I guess she just likes to show off her bling blings.”

Example #4: “Don’t try to be a bling bling all the time, there’s time to dress up during parties but rest of the time, you can choose to wear plain dress.”

Example #5: “They have been bling bling to show the arrival of the bling culture though it does not look bling.” The shortened form of this phrase has been repeated several times, which shows good use of a rhetorical device of repetition.