Biggie’s Plastic Crown Sells for Nearly $600,000 in Sotheby’s First Hip-Hop Auction

Yesterday was a first for the renowned Sotheby‘s auction house!  For the first time ever they held their first hip-hop memorabilia.  One of the most notable items being auctioned was the Notorious B.I.G.’s plastic crown that he wore during his very last photoshoot before he was fatally shot in 1997 which sold for almost $600,000.  The plastic crown was originally sold for a mere $6 as per the New York Post.  The auction estimates for the crown that had initially valued it between $200,000 and $300,000.

Some of the other nostalgic, one-of-a-kind items up for auction were Slick Rick’s diamond eyepatch which sold for $25,200, Questlove’s 5-piece drum kit ($30,240), Salt-N-Pepa‘s jackets from the “Push It” music video ($24,000) and Basquiat’s Rammellzee 12″ single.  Also, a private writing and studio session with Rakim, Prince Paul’s Casio RZ-1 and drum machine, prototypes of Drake Air Jordans, a 1987 concert poster for Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill, and more were auctioned off.

Another very interesting find from the auction was Tupac’s high school hand-written love letters to a fellow student at the Baltimore School for the Arts.  The letters were described by the auction house as “incredibly sweet and at times steamy,” sold for $75,600.

In a press statement released before the sale, vice president of Sotheby’s books and manuscripts department, Cassandra Hatton, said that Biggie’s crown and Tupac’s love letters offered and “introspective look, in their own way, at the personalities behind their respective public personas. 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,” she is quoted as saying. “This sale is a celebration of the origins and early eras of that influence.”

A portion of the sales of the items that were donated to charities including New York’s Queens Public Library Foundation, which coordinates hip hop community programs.

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