You know hip-hop has gone beyond mainstream when uppity art auctioneers like Phillips de Pury & Co organize the first-ever auction of hip-hop jewelry. With the likes of 50 Cent, Pharrell, P. Diddy, Missy Elliott, Tupac, Biggie, Slick Rick, and Lil’ John donating pieces from their formidable collections, Hip-Hop’s Crown Jewels is going to be a diamond-crusted, double platinum bright sale of special sparkling somethings.
But one has to wonder, who is the audience for this kind of bling? Other artists? Ladies who lunch? Serious art collectors?
On October, 1, Phillips de Pury & Company is hosting the first auction of hip-hop jewelry. Pieces owned by the likes of Missy Elliot, 50 Cent and Lil’ John are set to hit the block. A major highlight is John’s record breaking “Crunk is Dead” pendent.
Ostentatious jewelry is somewhat of a hallmark of mainstream hip-hop culture. The one up-manship, and ultimately craftsmanship that goes into many of the pieces is rather incredible. A question the auction may answer is – Could this become a major collecting category?
The elements are there. Strong provenance and back story. Artistic (if not tasteful) productions. Connection to historic events… there’s even some pieces from Pac and Biggie’s adversarial years in there.
Part of the proceeds will benefit Rush Community Affairs.