Culture

Biggie's crown sells for $595,000 at hip-hop auction

Biggie's crown sells for $595,000 at hip-hop auction”

Last month, it was revealed that the Notorious B.I.G.

The item, signed by the rapper days before his death in 1997, smashed auction estimates that had initially valued it between $200,000 and $300,000.

It's true, the headpiece Biggie wore in his iconic final photoshoot from 1997 - that's been duplicated in prints thousands of times over - just got sold off in a Sotheby's auction. ultimately going to a bidder who was willing to spend a whopping $594,750 for the thing.

Claiborne recalled that Diddy, then the owner of Bad Boy Records, objected to the concept, telling the Post, "He said it would make Biggie look like Burger King.But Biggie didn't listen".

On Tuesday, Sotheby's ended up conducting its first-ever auction dedicated to coveted hip-hop items. The photograph is one of the most recognizable images in Hip Hop culture and it has endured as the defining portrait of the artist more than 20 years since it was taken.

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Elsewhere, a collection of letters written by a teenage Tupac Shakur to a fellow student at the Baltimore School for the Arts also went under the hammer. Having acquired two crowns, Claiborne found that both were too small for Biggie's head, though he was able to use one by removing its foam cushioning.

"This sale is a celebration of the origins and early eras of that influence".

The plastic crown was bought for $6 by Brooklyn-based photographer Barron Claiborne for a "King of New York" spread in Rap Pages magazine. The auction showcased artifacts, contemporary art, photography, vintage and modern fashion, historic and newly designed jewelry and luxury items, rare ephemera including flyers and posters, important publications, and more spanning from the 1970s, the decade hip-hop was born, through present day.

The auction house has said it was the first auction staged by an global house anywhere devoted entirely to hip-hop.

A portion of proceeds from the sale benefited the Queens Public Library Foundation, to support its Hip Hop Programs and Culture, coordinated by "Uncle" Ralph McDaniels, as well as Building Beats, a nonprofit community organization that teaches tech, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills to underserved youth through DJ and music programs.



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