It isn’t often that an entire genre of music celebrates a significant birthday, but 2023 has brought with it one such milestone. This year marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, which has been celebrated by everything from a series of parties across New York City to a high-profile event at Sotheby’s. At the latter, a host of items that have a played a significant role in hip-hop’s history were made available at auction — including clothing, artwork and the equipment used to make classic records.
There were also a number of items related to the life and career of Tupac Shakur — including a distinctive crown-shaped ring featuring gold, rubies and diamonds. Sotheby’s estimated that the ring would sell for between $200,000 and $300,000. As it turns out, the actual figure was significantly higher.
As ARTnews reports, the high bid for the ring was $1.02 million. When news of the sale broke, the buyer’s identity remained a secret — at least it did until Drake posted an image of himself with the ring as an Instagram story. Soon enough, Sotheby’s confirmed that Drake was the buyer.
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Besides purchasing pieces of musical history from Sotheby’s, Drake has also worked with the auction house — in 2015, he teamed with them to pair songs with works of art in an exhibit that drew critical acclaim when it was on view. The amount paid for the ring is also, as per ARTnews‘s reporting, the first time that over a million dollars was paid for a “hip-hop artifact” at auction.
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