It’s just so whack

<strong>Bling: the hip-hop jewellery book</strong>

Gabriel A Tolliver and Reggie Ossé <em>Bloomsbu

The death of "bling" was heralded by its not very "street" inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003. The media and the publishing industry, however, are still enthusiastically banging on about it.

This book is a totally pointless, unintelligent money-spinner for Bloomsbury. It looks like it has been thrown together in a couple of days: most of the research appears to have been done on Google and there are factual errors galore. If you were hoping for any kind of analysis or critique – an exploration of the contradictions of a style that encouraged black Americans to express their hard-won freedoms by contributing to a diamond industry that sustained bloody conflicts in Africa, say – forget it. This book will be helpful to you only if you wish to learn how to polish your "pimped-out pinky ring".

But then, the book's inanity fits its subject matter perfectly. Why bring any intellectual muscle to bear on a trend that has nothing to offer other than ostentatious materialism and glorified violence?

This book simply celebrates the fact that bling has, according to its authors, become a "major cultural movement". Or so they must be hoping, if people are to pay £9.99 for this third-rate rubbish.