You might know Quavo, one member of the rap trio Migos, from the group’s hit “Bad and Boujee.” Or you also might know Quavo because he has one of the greatest, weirdest pieces of jewelry: a giant, diamond-encrusted chain depicting him as a chef holding the rat Remy from the animated film Ratatouille.
While the necklace is a piece created by jeweler Elliott Avianne, who has designed jewels for Nicki Minaj, Future, and Ciara, the image of Quavo as a chef holding a rat is actually based on an illustration by the Maryland artist Bernard Rollins.
Rollins posted the illustration in January, which is inspired by Quavo’s line “Still be playin’ with pots and pans, call me Quavo Ratatouille” in “Bad and Boujee.” Migos then posted the illustration on their Instagram account and in March Quavo posted about getting the chain on Snapchat and Instagram.
Rollins has not been credited or compensated for any involvement in the making of the chain. When he first saw Quavo had made the chain based on his illustration, he reached out to the group and the jeweler via Instagram to let them know that he thought they had done a great job and that he was aware of the necklace, but neither publicly credited Rollins for the illustration.
“At first it was a little upsetting because it was my work, but it’s also flattering that someone would spend that kind of money to make a version of your artwork and wear it around their neck,” Rollins told Jezebel, who wrote about being responsible for the chain inspiration on his blog in April. “It would have been nice to say, hey, Bernard did this, you should check him out.”
Friends of Rollins have advised him to seek out compensation or get an intellectual property lawyer but he has no interest in being paid for his work, even though the chain is rumored to be worth at least $250,000. Still, Rollins believes that people who make jewelry based on other people’s art should be properly credited. “Everyone in this day and age everyone should be credited for their work [because] it’s stealing something in a sense,” Rollins says. “If you made something it should be credited especially if you’re a public figure and you’re using it. If not you, then the jeweler.”
“It’s not like someone’s pulled the wool over my eyes but at the end of the day it would be nice to get credit,” he said. “So that the world would know and not just my circle.”
Jezebel has reached out to Migos and the jeweler Elliott Avianne for comment and will update this post when they respond.
Update, 5:28 PM: Rollins’ friend Kenny DeÑunez, who currently sells t-shirts featuring the illustration, reached out to Jezebel to clarify that he initially sent Rollins the idea for the illustration. Rollins also confirmed this to Jezebel.