Almost 30 years after his death, Tupac continues breaking records as his custom crown ring goes for over $1 million at auction — more than any other piece of hip-hop memorabilia. So who purchased this ‘slice of hip-hop history?’
After an exceedingly rare piece of Tupac’s signature look, the custom-made “crown ring” worn during his final public appearance, sold at auction at Sotheby’s New York for $1.016 million, fans wonder who purchased this “slice of hip-hop history” — the highest price for a piece of hip-hop memorabilia to sell at auction.
That question was answered on Thursday when Drake showed off the gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring in a photo posted to his Instagram story. Currently on a North American tour with 21 Savage, Drake shouts out Travis Scott’s new album Utopia, released Friday (July 28), which features him on the track “Meltdown.”
Sotheby’s confirmed that Drake bought the piece after Tupac’s godmother, “auntie,” and lifelong supporter, Yaasmyn Fula, put it up for auction this week. The auction house’s initial estimate for the ring’s sale was $300,000, with Drake’s winning bid of $1.016 million more than tripling that amount — making it the most valuable item of hip-hop memorabilia to sell at auction, according to Sotheby’s.
Designed and commissioned by Tupac Shakur in 1996, he wore the ring during his appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards that year, his final public appearance before his death on September 13, 1996. The inscription “Pac & Dada 1996” is engraved on the band, referring to Tupac’s then-girlfriend, Kidada Jones.
The sale of the ring also comes amid a renewed investigation into the drive-by shooting that killed Shakur in Las Vegas, which has gone unsolved for nearly 30 years. On July 17, Las Vegas police served a search warrant in nearby Henderson, Nevada, in connection with the shooting, in search of items belonging to the uncle of one of Tupac’s rivals.
That case is being presented to a grand jury in Las Vegas, according to persons with direct knowledge of the investigation who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Tupac Shakur was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June, accepted on his behalf by his sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur.