Your Favourite Rap Lyrics in 3D Grillz
Glistening grills and rappers have gone hand in hand since Flavor Flav started rocking them in 80’s with Public Enemy. The trend took a tackier twist in the early 2000’s with the release of Nelly and Paul Wall’s aptly named hit Grillz. While rappers have long spun lyrics wearing grills, a New York artist has seen to transforming iconic rap lyrics into wearable grills themselves.
Multidisciplinary artist Roopa Vasudevan has utilized 3D printing to create grillz a series of gold steel grills that contain the lyrics from famous rappers such as Biggie, Jay Z, Puff Daddy and Fat Joe. While the grills don’t specifically show the lyrics visually, they do use algorithmic analysis – paying particular attention to mentions of wealth and poverty – to create a physical map of the rapper’s word patterns.
The lyrics of Biggie’s Juicy for example, have been analyzed and the amount he references poverty as opposed to wealth has been traced and 3D printed in the form of a grill.
On her website, Vasudevan explains that "grillz is an exploration and analysis of the usage of language in mainstream hip-hop lyricism” and through scanning words for opposite polarity “the resulting landscape formed is extruded into a 3D shape and printed as wearable grills.” It’s an extremely creative, intriguing and abstract concept that first debuted as a series at Brooklyn’s Dumbo Arts Festival in September and went on to be exhibited at the Little Berlin gallery in Philadelphia.
While there are no commercial intentions yet for Vasudevan, 3D printing could be the most affordable method for rappers looking to add some shimmer to their smile. Just ask Paul Wall who in the past has been happy to pay in excess of $30,000 for his dental bling.
Check out his and Nelly’s admiration for the accessory in song form above.