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Notorious B.I.G.’s crown fetches whopping near-$600k at auction

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

One man’s plastic prop is another man’s treasure and the proof lies in the fact that Notorious B.I.G.‘s plastic crown just sold for nearly $600,000.

On Tuesday, Sotheby’s hosted its first-ever auction dedicated to hip-hop items. Up for grabs was the plastic crown that Biggie wore for the iconic King of New York portrait session with photographer Barron Claiborne. The prop, which was adorned with multi-colored plastic gemstones, was estimated to sell for somewhere in the $200,000-$300,000 range, but it ultimately sold for a whopping $594,750.

The crown was signed by both Biggie and Claiborne and is inscribed with the photo shoot date but that’s not all the buyer walked away with. They also are receiving several signed portraits from the King of New York portrait. 

As for the background on how the portrait came about, Sotheby’s explained, “Claiborne was hired by Rap Pages to shoot Biggie for the cover, and his concept was to portray him as the King of New York (K.O.N.Y.) on his throne.”

Sean “Diddy” Combs, the owner of Bad Boy Entertainment, the label Biggie was signed to, had tagged along to the shoot and wasn’t exactly on board with the concept. He apparently worried it would make the “Juicy” rapper look like “the Burger King.”

Biggie, however, was up for it and the result it “one of the most stunning and iconic portraits.” It, unfortunately, is also the last to be taken of the legend. He was killed just three days later in Los Angeles

By Danielle Long
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