Biggie’s iconic crown sells at auction for nearly $600K
The plastic crown once worn by rapper Notorious B.I.G. sold for over almost $600K at an auction.
Sotheby’s held an inaugural hip-hop auction where memorabilia from several legendary rappers was auctioned off to the highest bidders with Biggie merchandise raking in the most money.
TheGrio reports the international auction house had items from both Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur up for grabs. Letters penned by the “California Love” rapper to a high school sweetheart were available as well as the plastic crown of his East Coast rival. The shiny gold crown with fake gemstones was autographed and worn during the now-iconic King of New York photoshoot three days before his murder in Los Angeles.
After the auction, Sotheby’s announced on social media that the proceeds had reached $2M. A portion of the money goes to the Queens Public Library Foundation for their hip hop programs and Building Beats, a non-profit organization that teaches tech, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills to youth through music programs. The crown sold for $594,750 total, according to the official listing.
“Achieving an overall total of $2 million, the auction was a celebration of the history and cultural impact Hip Hop has had on art and culture from the late 1970s through the “Golden Age” of the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, and up to the present,” the auction house posted on Instagram.
Hopeful purchasers were able to privately view stock before the event through appointments, according to theGrio. Over 100 pieces, including unique artifacts, contemporary art, curated experiences, photography, fashion, jewelry, publications, and other rare items relating to hip-hop culture were part of the sale.
The aforementioned love letters written by Tupac sold for $75,600. Another letter autographed by the late rapper went for the highest bid of $17,640. Other lots included in the auction were Prince Paul‘s original Gravediggaz ‘The Undertaker‘ jacket and Too Poetic’s Grym Reaper jersey which sold together for $6,048.
Salt-n-Pepa’s Push It jackets went for $23,940, a complete run of The Source magazine for $32,760, and a pair of Drake‘s unreleased Air Jordan IV Retro prototype size 11 shoes for $32,760. Overall, Biggie’s headpiece brought in the largest amount.
“Since its birth in the Bronx in the 1970s, hip hop has become a global cultural force, whose massive influence continues to shape all realms of culture: music, fashion, design, art, film, social attitudes, language, and more,” Cassandra Hatton, vice president & senior specialist in Sotheby’s books and manuscripts dept. said, according to theGrio.