- 25 Aug 20
The iconic "King of New York" crown is estimated to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000.
The first Sotheby's auction dedicated solely to hip-hop is taking place on September 15 in New York, with Tupac Shakur's teenage love letters and the Notorious B.I.G.’s “King of New York” crown up for sale.
The auction will feature more than 120 items spanning hip-hop’s history, from its late '70s origins through its mid-1980s to mid-1990s “Golden Age” up to the present day.
A press statement has confirmed that there will be a mix of “iconic artifacts, contemporary art, one-of-a-kind experiences, fine art and vernacular photography.”
There will also be “vintage and modern fashion, historic and newly designed jewelry and luxury items, rare ephemera including flyers and posters and more.”
Most of the items were consigned directly by artists or their estates.
22 autographed notes from 16-year-old Tupac which he wrote to his high school girlfriend Kathy Loy will be for sale - estimated to be worth between $60,000 and $80,000.
Written between March 1987 and April 1988, Tupac's letters chronicle his two-month relationship with Loy and offers insight into Tupac’s friendship with fellow student Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada told me she can see how much I love you,” Tupac told Loy in one letter.
The letters also illustrate Tupac’s natural command of language and lyrical prose:
“I love you now more than ever, want you now more than before. No one compares to you, the one that I adore.”
Tupac's love letters to Madonna from their '90s relationship while he was in prison also went to auction last year, with the singer attempting to stop the sale.
The autographed Biggie crown is the same one the Brooklyn rapper wore during his “King of New York” photoshoot with Barron Claiborne in 1997, days before he was shot and killed.
The majority of items were consigned directly by artists or their estates.
An exhibit featuring items from the sale will be on view by appointment at the Sotheby’s gallery in New York between September 11 and 15, with the exhibition being made available to the public online.