Rappers sing the recession blues, sell their bling

This is a good lesson for kids everywhere: When you make it big in the music industry, don't invest in jewelry.

After years of buying diamond-encrusted pendants, gold teeth and heavy gold chains, hip-hop artists and rappers are facing the recession by asking their jewelers to use less-precious stones and metals, including cubic zirconia, the synthetic diamond stand-in, according to a Wall Street Journal story (subscription required).

"A lot of these rappers simply don't have the money for real stuff anymore," Jason Arasheben, who crafts custom jewelry for wealthy clients, told the Journal. "It's to the point where they are wearing imitation jewelry, and that's ridiculous."