The memory of Biggie continues to live on.
Now, the Brooklyn born rapper is making history at Sotheby’s auction with some of the first-ever hip-hop related offerings. Up for grabs includes the crown that Biggie wore during the “K.O.N.Y.” (King of New York) portrait session, his last recorded photoshoot in 1997 before he was killed in California just three days later. The crown was kept by the shoot’s photographer, Barron Claiborne. Included in the lot are three specially sized prints of Biggie’s legendary photograph, the 10th-anniversary K.O.N.Y. photograph, and the contact sheet which is estimated to go for $200,000 to $300,000.
“The impact of hip-hop is everywhere — sneakers, clothing, jewelry, art, music. I wanted to have a sale that really recognized how massive that impact really is,” said Cassandra Hatton, the Sotheby’s senior specialist who organized the sale. “I’ve seen the crown. Everybody’s seen the crown. It’s so famous. It’s so iconic. When I was first thinking of doing this sale, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to track that crown down? I’ve sold all sorts of wild things. But this is a little different.”
Another 90s rap legend also has valuables going up the auction block for super fans top cop– Tupac. Pac’s belongings are more personal as it includes 22 autographed love letters written by Shakur at the age of 15-17 to Kathy Loy, a high school sweetheart.
“Everything is so beautiful/since I fell in love,” he writes in a poem. The collection of love letters also mention an entangler by the name of Jada Pinkett Smith. “Jada told me she can see how much I love you,” he wrote in a neat script.
The auction will be held on September 15 and features over 120 hip-hop-related lots at Sotheby’s New York gallery. But because of the pandemic, they can only be viewed by appointment, and the public can check them out on the virtual gallery online.