Sotheby’s auction: a ring, two rappers and a million euros

Last Tuesday, Maison Sotheby’s organized an online auction dedicated to hip-hop. It brought together many collectibles, including a ring that was designed and belonged to one of the greatest rappers of all time: Tupac.


Sotheby’s Auction House is used to making headlines. It is one of the highest and most publicized auctions on the planet. One of the latest? A sale dedicated to hip-hop that featured various objects, including a ring designed and worn by the late American rapper Tupac, sold for the modest sum of one million dollars.



A rare hip(er) object


According to the auctioneer, this is the most expensive hip-hop jewelry artifact ever sold. His base estimate was $300,000, up to over a million for the final auction.


Brought to the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996 by the rapper during his last public appearance, this jewel, which has become a real collector’s item, marked an important chapter in his life.



It is a gold ring set with rubies and diamonds. It is in the form of a crown and inspired by The Prince, the work and political treatise of Nicolas Machiavelli, published in the sixteenth century, which would have greatly marked Tupac Shakur. An inspiration that is also found through his second stage name: Makaveli.


This is a ring designed by Tupac. He had just come out of a period of incarceration in 1996, during which he read Machiavelli’s The Prince, a book that fascinated him,” Cassandra Hatton of the American auction house told AFP.


This ring is full of meaning as it bears on the back the inscriptions “Pac & Dada 1996”, words that mark the rapper’s engagement with his wife of the time Kidada Jones.



This jewel comes from the personal collection of Yassmyn Fula, a close friend of the artist and mother of rapper Yaki Kadafi. The latter was a childhood friend of Tupac. Together they founded the hip-hop group Outlawz.


A secret buyer…but not too much


On the day of the auction, it was not yet known who was the lucky buyer of this rare and expensive object. However, a few days later, on Friday, July 28, the news was spread. The world learned that the anonymous buyer was none other than Canadian rapper Drake.


It was actually the interpreter of Hotline Bling who revealed it himself, by posting a photo of his hand wearing the famous jewel on Instagram.



In addition to his music, Drake is known for spending money. To the point of buying a Boeing 767 for personal use, or paying a million dollars by betting on Argentina’s victory during the World Cup.


In total, this auction included original artwork, historical studio equipment, sneakers and posters. It brought in $1.8 million.


This was the third Sotheby’s auction dedicated to hip-hop and this year marks the 50th anniversary of this genre. A style of music that became dominant in American hit parades in 2017, supplanting rock.




Featured photo : © Press

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