The Kandi Konnection - What's the Deal With Rave Beads?

By Ravi in EDM, EDM News
Friday, May 3, 2013, 10:57am. (Updated: 5/03/13 at 10:58am) Add comments

The Meaning Behind the Neon Beads
words by Josh van Dyk

Early in my dance music adventures I witnessed a unique fashion trend. People were wearing plastic pony beads all up and down their arms. They wove them into backpacks, masks and on one occasion, someone had a spirit hood made out of beads. I thought nothing of it, until I decided to look deeper.

where to get plur rave beads

‘Kandi’ primarily consists of plastic bracelets garnished with designs or wording of some sort. It’s 100% customized to each individual. Made with beads found in craft stores like Michaels or AC Moore, it has become popular amongst dance music lovers. It has come to represent a kindness that brings the rave community closer by being a conversation starter that can double as a gift.

The story I heard is that drug dealers would wear beads and bright, neon colors so they could be noticed. Fans were attracted to the craft and it became an iconic symbol of dance music.

peace love unity respect

I spoke with a few people who happen to be ‘Kandi Kids.’ They told me it’s an easy way to meet like-minded people. What usually happens is someone gifts some of their bracelets to someone who may not have any. They in turn may decide to make their own. What started out as a single bracelet can grow into multiple cuffs and an arm full of beads.

The bracelets themselves are easy to make. You take a color pattern, add a few words or special beads and put them on and elastic string. They often don phrases that have a special meaning to the person wearing them or the person they’re being given to.

what is PLUR?

One of the most important parts of the ‘kandi’ culture is the process of gifting and the term PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect). It’s a handshake that signifies acceptance.

1. Two people make peace signs (Peace)
2. They form their hands into hearts (Love)
3. They join their hearts (Unity)
4. They slide their bracelets from hand to hand (Respect)
4.a. Hug someone.

PLUR beads

While some see it as an innocent gesture, others view it as a negative reflection of the dance music community. Some believe wearing kandi automatically makes you a drug addict. To many of us though, it’s come to signify individualism and rebellion. When I wear mine I often get dirty looks. Oh well… I like them.

I have one piece that’s very special to me. The person who pushed me to embrace the kandi scene made it. It’s a cuff made of orange and white beads (orange is my favorite color) that reads “keep dancing”. She knows how important dancing is to me. Whenever I’m out I can always look at it and remember that someone took time out of their day to make something for me. It cost less than $1 but carries more value than any dollar amount.

Hi. Want a piece of kandi?

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