Like a Cadillac Seville in the ’70s, a mobile phone in the ’80s, or a yacht in the ’90s, one of Hip Hop’s status symbols this decade has been the American Express Black Card. From Lil Wayne [click to read] and Bow Wow [click to read], to CL Smooth [click to read] and The Clipse [click to read], rappers have championed the high limit, special services luxury card – so much so that Kanye West even deemed it “African American Express.

One site, LuxuryPlastic.com [click here] is dedicated to this element of celebrity and pop culture behind the card, which was launched exactly 10 years ago, by a man, wishing to just be known as “Rich” co-founder of the site dedicated to the premium luxury cards from American Express and Visa. “We were interested in what this whole unachievable status symbol was about, Rich told HipHopDX, in regards to his motivation for starting the site. A sales engineer for a top information systems company, Rich figured out the credit scoring system, and how to obtain an American Express Black Card, without being, as he says, “a super rich guy.” The requirements, as stated by AMEX, is spending 250,000 dollars in the course of 12 months, resulting in balances that are paid in full on time.

As we got into [making the site], we realized how big it was in Hip Hop culture,Rich said. Citing everybody from Chamillionaire to Fat Joe to Fabolous to Ali Vegas, the site publishes lyrics and quotes that endorse the luxury cards, ranging from Black Card to Centurion Card to the Red Card. “That’s where most of the action [on the site] is,” he adds, referring to the Hip Hop components, outside of pop culture icons like Paris Hilton and others. “Hip Hop artists have all the reach and all the scale. When they do something, it’s just like how Hip Hop crosses over to Pop, and everybody knows who Kanye West is. When a Hip Hop artist gets ahold of or says something about a Black Card, it piques peoples’ interest and curiosity. I definitely think it’s been big in helping getting exposure for the card.

According to Rich, insider information through LuxuryPlastic.com has included the fact that Kanye West carries both AMX Red and Black cards. The Red cards are used for charitable donations, with no word which charities West directs his points towards.

Perks of the card, which were listed by The Clipse throughout their We Got It 4 Cheap: Black Card Era mixtape, include concierge service, no limit spending, and access to exclusive Black Card-holder clubs, including the AMEX Black Card UltraLounge in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Masareti Quattroporte Centurion Edition car. The card itself, is made out of titanium, affirming its luxury status.

For more information on Black Cards and their role in Hip Hop culture, visit LuxuryPlastic.com [click here].