Guy Makes Fortune Off $6 Crown Notorious B.I.G. Wore Days Before He Was Murdered

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Every time I come across stories of people dropping $1.8 million on a LeBron rookie card or $100,000 for an unopened Super Mario Bros. video game or $5,000 for panties that belonged to Hitler’s wife or wait that can’t be true.

Yes, yes it is. For a second there I forgot that we are living in a simulation run by aliens with senses of humor.

At Sotheby’s first hip hop memorabilia auction—featuring teenage love letters from Tupac and Salt-N-Pepa’s polychrome “Push It” jackets—one $6 item is making the headlines.

The crown Biggie Smalls wore in his “King of New York” photoshoot that was featured as the cover photo for Rap Pages magazine in 1997 was just auctioned off for $594,750, nearly $300,000 over its expected value.

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Photographer Barron Claiborne reveals he paid six dollars for the item and doesn’t recall ever being paid by the magazine for the shoot.

“This crown is a novelty item; I bought it at a place on Broadway called Gordon’s,” Barron Claiborne, a 52-year-old photographer who lives in Brooklyn, told The New York Post.

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Claiborne adds some interesting context, claiming that the iconic photoshoot nearly never happened because Puffy Combs, the owner of Bad Boy Records, nearly nixed it.

“He said it would make Biggie look like Burger King,” recalled Claiborne. “But Biggie didn’t listen. He wore it anyway. And nobody’s ever told me that they look at the photo and think the crown is plastic.”

That’s a testament to “the charisma of Biggie Smalls,” he said. “His power cancels out the fact that it is a novelty crown.”

I still cannot understand why people spend six figures on a piece of 2×3 inch cardboard, but I would sell my grandmother’s wedding ring to wear this crown for one day. That work of art would cure me of my long-standing disease called Being A Little Bitch, also known as The Tekashi 6ix9ine Disease.

Some other pieces of hip hop gold sold at the auction:

Drake Unreleased Air Jordan IV Retro prototype:

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The Wall of Boom by DJ Ross One (DOPEEEE)

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FAB 5 Freddy’s gold and diamond ‘MTV’ ring:

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I’ll have it all please and thank you.

Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.