NEW YORK, KOMPAS.com – Sotheby’s will auction off teenage Tupac’s love letters and rapper Biggie’s iconic crown next month in their first-ever sale devoted to hip hop.
More than 120 lots will be featured in the September 15 sale including clothing, jewelry, art, and other ephemera of the hip hope genre born in the Bronx.
Love letters from Tupac and the crown from rapper Biggie will be the headline of next month’s sale.
The crown is the headgear that The Notorious B.I.G. — famous for hits including "Juicy", "Big Poppa" and "Hypnotize" — wore during his last recorded photoshoot in 1997, just three days before his shock murder in Los Angeles.
The photographer Barron Claiborne, who took the now immortal image of the artist born Christopher Wallace, put the rap artifact up for sale where it's expected to go for $200,000 to $300,000.
It's quite a sum for a crown made of plastic that Sean "Diddy" Combs, at the time Biggie's label owner, at first worried would make the hip hop superstar look like the Burger King rather than the King of New York.
"You're not so much selling the object as selling the story that's behind it," explained Cassandra Hatton, the senior specialist at Sotheby's behind the auction set to become an annual event.
"It's something that we all recognize. All you have to say is 'Biggie's Crown,'" she told AFP.
"Even my grandma — and I love Grandma, but she's not hip," laughed Hatton. "She knew what Biggie's crown was."