Who started it: Paul Wall
Circa: 2005 

Long before Ryan Lochte took the cosmetic dental apparatus mainstream, grills have had a storied place in hip-hop—and it all really starts with New Yorker Eddie Plein, who outfitted gold caps for the likes of Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, and Flavor Flav before he took the trade to Atlanta. There, he worked with OutKast, Ludacris, and Lil Jon. It was in the South that grills started to become a larger phenomenon, with guys like Paul Wall and Big Gipp in the forefront. So when Nelly dropped 2005's "Grillz," he had the common sense to include Paul Wall, who moonlights as a jeweller and took the excessive accessory to another level.