It only cost six bucks, but it was worth a pretty penny at auction. It was recently reported that the crown Notorious B.I.G. wore for his famous Barron Claiborne photoshoot was being auctioned at Sotheby’s, and it was a monumental moment because it was the auction house’s first-ever hip hop collection. The red-laced photo of Biggie wearing the inexpensive crown was taken just three days before he was murdered in a drive-by on the streets of Los Angeles back in 1997, making the adornment a coveted piece by collectors.
According to Spin, Biggie’s crown brought in a purchase price of $574,750. The public didn’t expect $6 to stretch to over half a million dollars, but this piece of hip hop history was a must have for a lucky buyer. Other pieces in the collection came from a variety of legendary hip hop artists including Tupac Shakur and Salt-N-Pepa. Love letters from a 16-year-old Tupac written to his high school sweetheart were up for bid—a whopping 22 of them. As far as the female rapping duo goes, their iconic “Push It” jackets from the 1980s were also up for sale.
“Achieving an overall total of $2 million, the auction was a celebration of the history and cultural impact Hip Hop has had on art and culture from the late 1970s through the ‘Golden Age’ of the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, and up to the present,” Sotheby’s wrote on Instagram. “A majority of items included in the sale were consigned directly from Hip Hop’s most pivotal and well-known artists and figures, several of who will be sharing their proceeds with a variety of charities.”