Notorious B.I.G.’s “King Of New York” Crown Sells For Nearly $600,000 In Sotheby’s 1st Hip Hop Auction
On Tuesday, Sep. 15, Sotheby’s International auction house held it’s first ever hip hop memorabilia auction and one bidder walked away with a one of hip hop’s prized possessions.
For a jaw-dropping $594, 750 the “King of New York” crown, worn by the late-great Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace), was sold to its highest bidder out of five hopefuls.
The legendary rapper wore the crown in his 1997 “King of New York” photo shoot for Rap Pages magazine, just three days before he was tragically gunned down on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles.
Barron Claiborne, the famed photographer who shot the iconic image spoke about the recognizable crown that can now be seen on murals, t-shirts, and other merchandise around the world as a staple symbol in the hip hop culture.
“It resonates with people because it’s a symbol of a king which resonates everybody”
Barron, who admits grabbing the crown “at a novelty store,” expressed that after B.I.G. died, someone sent him a photo of the Bad Boy rapper’s funeral procession where “a whole bunch” of crown pictures were up.
“I thought that was nice but I didn’t know that it would be what it is now of course there was no way you can really think of it that way.”
Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or simply B.I.G. to many, quickly climbed to the top of the hip hop charts in the 90’s establishing himself, arguably as one of the best rappers of all time. Stemming from Brooklyn, New York he became one of the East Coast’s hailed icons with hip hop fans often pitting him against West Coast legend, rapper Tupac.
In April of this year, an entire neighborhood in New York was heard rapping along to B.I.G.’s “Juicy,” during quarantine in solidarity.
Are you surprised at how much the “King of New York” crown sold for? Share your thoughts with us below.