Biggie Smalls’ crown and other items for sale at Sotheby’s first hip-hop auction
The Notorious B.I.G. will forever remain a king of hip-hop, but the crown that the rapper wore in the final photo shoot before his death is about to be passed down.
The signed plastic crown from the 1997 “K.O.N.Y.” (King of New York) portrait session, along with several other iconic pieces of hip-hop history, are officially going on sale, courtesy of Sotheby’s first-ever hip-hop auction.
The auction, which will be held in New York at 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 15, will feature hip-hop-related art, photography, jewelry, fashion, and more. The full lineup includes Salt-N-Pepa’s Push It jackets, a collection of 22 love letters that Tupac Shakur wrote to his high school sweetheart, and a DJ Ross One art installation titled “The Wall of Boom,” which features 32 vintage boomboxes that work as a functioning sound system.
The memorable crown worn and signed by Biggie Smalls, whose legal name was Christopher Wallace, is the auction’s biggest item. And according to Sotheby’s it could sell for $200,000 to $300,000. But here’s a look at some of the auction’s other highlights.
In addition to physical artifacts, the auction will also offer unique hip-hop experiences to bid on, such as a virtual wine tasting with Big Daddy Kane or a private writing lesson and studio session with The God MC Rakim Allah.
Since the auction is meant to celebrate hip-hop’s history and cultural impact, a portion of the proceeds that Sotheby’s makes will be donated to Building Beats — a non-profit organization that offers DJ programs to low-income youth in New York — along two Queens Public Library Foundation programs coordinated by music video director and DJ, Ralph McDaniels.
You can learn more auction details and view the full catalogue here.