Nearly 120 historic hip-hop artefacts – including a ring designed by Tupac – go on sale in Sotheby’s auction
You’ve got just five days to make your bids for items associated with Tupac, Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul and more.
Wu-Tang clan cassette, Tupac ring & Afrika Islam’s E-mu SP-1200
Are you a die-hard hip-hop head? A keen collector of musical memorabilia? You may be interested in an auction currently underway containing artefacts associated with the early days of hip-hop.
The collection comprises 119 items, from art to letters to flyers to the hardware used to create some of the biggest hip-hop anthems, jewellery and more.
Notable lots include a ring designed by Tupac, one of the first-ever KAWS figurines, a pair of rare Nike Dunks, the SP-1200 sampler RZA used on Enter The Wu-Tang, and RZA’S original three-page handwritten liner notes for the Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) album sleeve.
The most expensive item on the list, however, is Lot 75 – a gold, ruby, and diamond ring designed as a crown, set with round diamonds and cabochon rubies. It was designed by none other than Tupac Shakur, one of the biggest names – if not, the biggest name – in hip-hop. The starting bid is set at $180,000, with the estimated final bid to be within the region of $200-300k. No one has kicked off the bidding process yet.
Talking of Tupac, there are loads of other fascinating items associated with the iconic New York rapper up for grabs. There are several handwritten and signed letters written during Shakur’s high school years to a love interest in 1988.
In terms of music tech, the headliner is, of course, the incredible SP-1200 sampler actually used by RZA, which is predicted to rake in a whopping $35,000. It’s a thing of beauty. Also on the list is Afrika Islam’s SP-1200, used by him to record Ice-T’s “Rhyme Pays”, “Power”, “O.G. Original Gangster”, “Colors”, and Afrika Islam’s two Technics 1200 turntables used to DJ at The Roxy and during the artist’s Rock Steady and Wild style tour
One lucky buyer will be able to get their hands on nine cassettes worth of early Wu-Tang Clan demos, and there’s even a plaster and crushed glass sculpture of an original eroded cassette of Nas’ Lost Tapes 2 album. There’s also a curated collection of 394 sealed cassette tapes reflecting two decades of hip-hop.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of these 119 special items, or even if you’re just intrigued – it’s well worth a look – head to sothebys.com.
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