Tough times in the hip-hop industry have taken the ka-ching out of bling, the Wall Street Journal reports. Record sales and concert attendance are falling, and jewelers say that more and more of the flashy pendants and chains favored by rappers trying to keep up appearances now contain lower-quality stones, cheaper alloys, or even cubic zirconia fakes.
Some rappers, including 50 Cent, are reveling in the chance to accuse rivals of wearing fakes. "It is every rapper's fear to be exposed as a fraud," said rap interviewer Doggie Diamonds. "If you admit you wear fake jewelry, it is over for you. It's like bragging you drive a Lamborghini when you really drive a Toyota."