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UrBling is an aesthetic that was popular throughout the 2000s, gaining prominence after the fading of the Y2K Futurism aesthetic and coinciding with the similar McBling. It started in the late 1990s with ads such as Comedy Central bumpers.[1] Unlike McBling, UrBling focused less on the "bling" aspect and more focused on urban, grungier motifs. The result is a melting pot of elements from Graffiti Pop, Corporate Grunge and other sources, such as Kustom Kulture.

These include silhouetted streetlights, power lines, buildings, highways, wings, crests, flames, tribal tattoo-looking motifs, paint splatters/drips, and sepia, red, yellow, and/or orange tones, blacks and greys, slab sans-serifs, graffiti and stencil motifs and fonts, gothic fonts, and more, yet still retains the core values of the McBling aesthetic with its maximalism and visual excess. UrBling can be considered a more "masculine" version of the McBling aesthetic.

It was also associated with camouflage patterns and the military to some degree, as seen with characters like Hayner from Kingdom Hearts II, likely because of the massive cultural significance in the 2000s of the wars in the Middle East. It was also associated with rap and alt-rock, music genres that were very popular in the 2000s, and also advanced technology, as seen in media like Homestuck and Orion's Arm.

UrBling could be seen as a 2000s version of punk heavily revolving around the United States of America and various trends in large cities in the country.

The aesthetic also overlapped with Frutiger Metro and the more timeless Urbancore.

Media[]

Commercials[]

Comedy Central late 90s bumpers

Video Games[]

UrBling was the aesthetic of choice for many popular AAA or AA games in the 2000s.

  • 187 Ride or Die (2005)
  • 25 to Life (2006)
  • 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (2009)
  • 50 Cent: Bulletproof (2005)
  • 9mm (2011)
  • All Points Bulletin (2010)
  • Anarchy Reigns (2012)
  • Bad Rats (2009)
  • Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance (2005)
  • Burnout Revenge - Burnout Paradise (2005-2008)
  • Colors (Cancelled)
  • Crime Life: Gang Wars (2005)
  • Dead to Rights series (2002-2010)
  • Def Jam: Fight for NY (2004)
  • Def Jam: Icon (2007)
  • Def Jam Vendetta (2003)
  • Driver: Parallel Lines (2006)
  • Fear & Respect (Cancelled)
  • FIFA Street (2005)
  • Final Fight: Streetwise (2006)
  • FlatOut 2 (2006)
  • Full Auto (2006)
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)
  • Guitar Hero franchise (2005-2015)
  • MadWorld (2009)
  • Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (2006)
  • Mario Strikers series (2005-present)
  • My Friend Pedro (2019)
  • NARC (2005)
  • NBA Street (2001)
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted - ProStreet (2005–2007)
  • NEO: The World Ends With You (2021)
  • NFL Street (2004)
  • Prototype (2009)
  • Ridge Racer Unbounded (2012)
  • Saints Row 1 & 2 (2006-2008)
  • Scarface: The World Is Yours (2006)
  • Shadow the Hedgehog (2005)
  • Skate (2007-2010)
  • Splatoon franchise (2015-present)
  • Street Boyz (2004)
  • Street Fighter 6 (2023)
  • Stuntman Ignition (2007)
  • Sludge Life (2020)
  • The Black Eyed Peas Experience (2011)
  • The Club (2008)
  • The Con (2005)
  • The Hip Hop Dance Experience (2012)
  • The Urbz: Sims in the City (2004)
  • The World Ends With You (2007)
  • Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (2005)
  • Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (2007)
  • Tony Hawk's Underground 1 & 2 (2003-2004)
  • Total Overdose (2005)
  • Urban Reign (2005)

TV & Movies[]

  • Chainsaw Man(2022) (Anime)
  • Crash & Bernstein (2012-2014) (TV Show)
  • Step Up (2006-) (Movie franchise by Touchstone Pictures)
  • The Boondocks (2005-2014) (Cartoon)
  • The Nutshack (2007-2011) (Cartoon)
  • Vinyl Addiction (2009-2010) (Non-Fiction TV Show)

Webfiction[]

Homestuck does not have much in common with the other media using UrBling. However, given its eclectic soundtrack that includes instrumental songs inspired by rap and focus on cities and the military in some arcs, it does have some elements in common with them. It was also inspired by Problem Sleuth and And It Don't Stop, media that parodied 2000s American inner city culture in a cartoony way.

  • Orion's Arm (2000-)
  • Problem Sleuth (2008-2009)
  • Homestuck (2009-2016)
  • And It Don't Stop (2005-2006)

Music[]

Bands[]

  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Capone-N-Noreaga
  • G-Unit
  • KoЯn
  • Limp Bizkit
  • Linkin Park
  • Magna-Fi
  • N.E.R.D.
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Orgy
  • Powerman 5000
  • Sins of a Divine Mother
  • Wu-Tang Clan
  • Zeromancer

Artists[]

  • 50 Cent
  • Akon
  • B.o.B.
  • Big Boi
  • Bone Crusher
  • Bubba Sparxxx
  • Bun B
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Capone
  • Cappadonna
  • Chamillionaire
  • D.O.E.
  • David Banner
  • DMX
  • Dr. Dre
  • E-40
  • Elephant Man
  • Eminem
  • Erick Sermon
  • Fam-Lay
  • Fat Joe
  • Flavor Flav
  • Flo Rida
  • Freeway
  • Funkmaster Flex
  • Ghostface Killah
  • GZA
  • Havoc
  • Henry Rollins
  • Ice-T
  • Inspectah Deck
  • Jeezy
  • Jim Jones
  • Joe Budden
  • Kano
  • Keith Murray
  • Kevin Rudolf
  • Lil Jon
  • Lil Wayne
  • Lil' Flip
  • Lil' Kim
  • Lloyd Banks
  • Ludacris
  • Mack 10
  • Masta Killa
  • Memphis Bleek
  • Method Man
  • Mike Jones
  • Missy Elliott
  • N.O.R.E.
  • Nate Dogg
  • Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Omar Epps
  • Paul Wall
  • Prodigy
  • Raekwon
  • Redman
  • RZA
  • Scarface
  • Sean Paul
  • Sebastian
  • Shawnna
  • Slick Rick
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Sticky Fingaz
  • T.I.
  • Tego Calderón
  • The Game
  • Timbaland
  • Tony Yayo
  • T-Pain
  • U-God
  • Warren G
  • WC
  • Xzibit
  • Young Buck

Fashion[]

  • Baggy pants
  • Cargo shorts
  • Hoodies
  • Rhinestone jeans
  • Tattoo shirts
  • Camo pattern clothing
  • Affliction caps

Activities[]

  • Playing sports
  • Vandalizing/Making graffiti
  • Listening to music
  • Skateboarding

Gallery[]

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