In the 2010s, grills have been a common accessory among rappers as a status symbol and fashion statement. In November 2011, rapper Rick Ross stated he paid $90,000 for his set of gold teeth. Rappers Kanye West and Lil Wayne have also had grills on numerous occasions. In 2013, "The Drop: Trips to Get Diamond Teeth" was created by Vice Media on YouTube featuring rappers such as Uncle Murda with golden fronts on his teeth.
In addition, rappers such as Trinidad James and Soulja Boy have used the term 'grill' in their lyrics to refer to gold teeth.
Migos released a hit song called "Grind Time" where the members of Migos boast about how money and power they've obtained since achieving success. One line in particular says: "Came from the bottom with a couple grills and it's all good, now we just lean back and chill."
In recent years, grills have become less of a status symbol among rappers. For instance, Daniel Hernandez (AKA Tekashi 6ix9ine) is currently facing charges for assaulting his former manager Kifano "Shotti" Jordan.
In one video on his Instagram, Hernandez shows off two sets of grills. One gold set has 69's on them representing his self-proclaimed "69" gang while another set is silver with the word "Grillz" written across them. This makes it unclear whether or not Daniel Hernandez still does consider himself a part of the hip-hop subculture or not.
The reason why grills are becoming less of a status symbol among rappers is because after the Migos released "Bad and Boujee" in 2016, it sparked a wave of rappers to make songs about how much money they have without wearing grills or talking about having grills. This is a similar fashion to the rappers in the 90's who didn't wear jewelry due to rap groups such as NWA and The Geto Boys releasing songs about how horrible they thought having flashy jewelery was.In conclusion, grills have been a status symbol among rappers for years but recently it has become less popular as rappers such as Soulja Boy and Trinidad James started using the term 'grill' in their lyrics to refer to gold teeth.