Think of them as jewelry for your teeth. Grillz, sometimes called fronts, made their first appearance in the mid-1980s when rappers in the world of hip hop music began to adorn their teeth with gold and jewels. It’s believed that Eddie Plein, proprietor of Eddie’s Gold Teeth, was the first to popularize the trend when he fashioned gold caps for rappers in New York City. Today, grillz have become far more elaborate. Whatever the case may be, we find the trend fascinating. Here are a few of our favourite grillz:
Give the man some credit: he stands out in a crowd. The ostentatious rapper and member of Public Enemy, Flavor Flav basically brought grillz to the masses. He kept his relatively simple, usually opting for plain gold. Flavor Flav upped the ante by having his own name imprinted on the grillz he wears today. Did we mention he stands out?
It’s reported that Lil Wayne had a set of grillz put in permanently – as opposed to the temporary nature of most others. He blamed his childhood sweet tooth for the need for replacement teeth. While we would never recommend encrusting your teeth with diamonds, we have to admit he actually looks good! In 2010, Lil Wayne had to have his grillz removed before serving jail time – apparently it isn’t a good idea to go to jail with $150,000 of gold and jewels in your mouth.
An American rapper, Nelly is such a fan of jewelled teeth he dedicated a song to them. Aptly titled “Grillz”. The tune basically talks about how awesome his grillz are. Fair enough. They are pretty awesome.
While history suggests men more commonly wear grillz, more women have been showing off glittering smiles recently. In one case, pop singer Katy Perry bared a set of kaleidoscopic grillz that definitely caught our eye. Flamboyant and colourful in her own right, Perry is probably one of the only people who can pull this off.
While he didn’t technically have grillz, singer Mick Jagger did have an emerald drilled into one of his incisors in the 1970s. We can only guess it was for visual flair (as if he needed any) but apparently a lot of people just thought he had spinach in his teeth. Mick abandoned the emerald but did replace it with a clear diamond. Better choice.
We couldn’t resist. As James Bond’s nemesis in several of the famous spy films, henchman Jaws had some seriously wacky grillz. He could bite through steel cable! He could bite bullets! Are these the original grillz?!