July 13, 2006, - 3:53 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Natural selection of idiots and survival of the non-stupid class takes place every day. The latest repeat winners of the Darwin Awards should be hip-hoppers.
If you’re hip to pop culture trends as we are, you’ve no doubt noticed the latest stupid hip-hop status symbol over the last few years: grills.
What are grills, you ask? They’re dental accessories that look like very ugly (and painful) braces worn over the jaded, phony smiles of rap artists and other assorted malefactors. The removable fixtures fit over front teeth and snap into place, usually made of gold or platinum and studded with diamond inlays. They can cost thousands of dollars and are yet another gaudy chapter in the look-at-me-and-the-riches-I-got hip-hop world. (We’d use the word “bling,” but we got the memo a couple of years ago. That word is out.)
Rapper Nelly wrote a song glorifying them, “Grillz,” gushing over robbery of jewelry stores to make these absurd mouth appliances:
Rob the jewelry store and tell ’em make me a grill.
Add da whole top diamond and the bottom Row’s gold.
Yo we bout to start a epidemic wit dis one
Ya’ll know what dis is… So So Def
Got 30 down at the bottom, 30 mo at the top
All invisible set in little ice cube blocks
If I could call it a drink, call it a smile on da rocks
If I could call out a price, let’s say I call out a lot
I got like platinum and white gold, traditional gold
I’m changin grillz errday, like Jay change clothes,
I might be grilled out nicely (oh) In my white tee (oh),
On South beach (oh) in my wife beat.
V V and studded you can tell when they cut it
Ya see my granmama hate it, but my lil mama love it . . . .
What it do baby
It’s da ice man Paul Wall
I got my mouth lookin somethin like a disco ball
I got da diamonds and da ice all hand set
I might cause a cold front if I take a deep breath
My teeth gleaming like I’m chewin on aluminum foil
Smilein showin off my diamonds sippin on some Pinot Noir
I put my money where my mouth is and bought a grill
20 carrots 30 stacks let ’em know im so fo real
My motivation is from 30 pointers V VS the furniture my mouth
Piece simply symbolize success
I got da wrist wear and neck wear dats captivatin
But it’s my smile dats got these on-lookers spectatin
My mouth piece simply certified a total package
Open up my mouth and you see mo carrots than a salad
My teeth are mind blowin givin everybody chillz
Call me George Foreman cuz I’m sellin everybody grillz
Yum, chewing on aluminum foil. Sounds like a real pleasurable experience. Delish. Yet another sign there’s no accounting for good taste–literally AND figuratively–in America.
Nelly and the rest of this silly portion of our culture apparently think their mouths are the fronts of Jeep Grand Cherokees and H2 Hummers. Do they think they should brush with Turtle Wax and anti-freeze, too? More swell photos of grill-wearing dummies here.
Now comes word that from dentist Dr. Matt Messina of the American Dental Association that grills harbor bacteria, are hard on teeth and gums, and cause lasting damage to various areas of the mouth. Gum infections, irritations, and cavities are just some of the costs of this latest, absurd hip-hop waste of money. It’s Mother Nature’s way of fighting back against the uber-ludicrous (not to be confused with rapper “Ludacris”).
Reasonable human forces are noting the ridiculous and in appropriate nature of grills on teens. The Suburban Dallas school district of Arlington, Texas recently banned grills. Good for them.
Well, nobody said the rap world was synonymous with wisdom. In fact, it appears there’s a very strong negative correlation between the two.
Tags: America, American Dental Association, Arlington, Debbie Schlussel Natural, dentist, George Foreman cuz, Gum infections, Matt Messina, On South beach, Paul Wall, rapper, Suburban Dallas school district, Texas