S otheby’s is honored to announce an auction celebrating the history and cultural impact of Hip Hop on 15 September in New York. The first-ever dedicated Hip Hop auction to be presented at a major international auction house, the sale reflects on the impact Hip Hop has had on art and culture from the late 1970s through the “Golden Age” of the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, and up to the present. Featuring over 120 lots, the auction is comprised of unique artifacts, contemporary art, one of a kind experiences, photography, vintage and modern fashion, historic and newly designed jewelry and luxury items, rare ephemera including flyers and posters, important publications, and more. The majority of items on offer in the sale have been consigned directly by artists or their estates and the full contents of the auction will be announced at a later date.
The auction was curated and organized by VP, Senior Specialist Cassandra Hatton in collaboration with Monica Lynch, former president of Tommy Boy Records (1981-1998) who helped launch the careers of legends Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force, Queen Latifah, De La Soul, and Naughty by Nature, among many others.
A portion of Sotheby’s proceeds will benefit the Queens Public Library Foundation, to support their Hip Hop Programs, coordinated by “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels, as well as Building Beats, a non-profit community organization that teaches tech, entrepreneurial and leadership skills to underserved youth through DJ and music programs.
One of the most iconic artifacts in the history of hip hop, worn by one of the greatest hip hop stars of all time, for one of the most famous hip hop portraits ever taken.
An intimate, early archive of teenage love letters, written by one of the greatest and most talented rappers of all time.
This imposing installation piece, created by DJ Ross One, consists of 32 vintage boomboxes from the early 1980s-early 1990s, displayed together on a custom built shelf and wired to function as a singular sound system. The work includes some of the rarest and most recognizable vintage boomboxes of all time.
DJ Ross One and The Wall of Boom
(left) The Last Poets (L-R Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Nilaja Obabi and Umar Bin Hassan) pose for a portrait circa 1970 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
(left) New York City artist Chico's commemorative mural of Gil Scott Heron
(left) DJ Kool Herc and the Herculoids host a Bronx party, circa 1970s
(left) Grand Mixer D.ST on turntables, Donald D on the mic, DJ Kool Herc in hat and shades, Bronx River Center, November 12, 1983
(left) Friday, May 11, 1979 - Flyer by Buddy Esquire - Webster P.A.L - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 4 MCs vs. The Funky 4 (known as the "Battle for Rahiem"), Brothers Disco featuring DJs Breakout and Baron
(left) March 28, 1980 – Flyer by Eddie Ed - Bronx River Center - Bam, GM Flash, Breakout and Baron
(left) Members of the Rock Steady Crew break-dance in the yard of Booker T. Washington Junior High School (JHS 54), New York, New York, May 8, 1983. (Photo by Linda Vartoogian/Getty Images)
(left) Crowd at Bronx River Center, 1983
(left) A side-A label for one of early pressings of the US 12-inch vinyl single release of "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang
(left) Image of the Kurtis Blow album, "The Breaks"
(left) Saturday, October 10, 1981 – Flyer by Fab 5 Freddy – East River Park Amphitheater - The Amphitheatre Jam!!!
(left) Hip-hop personality Fab Five Freddy in front of a Lee Quinones graffiti mural in Lower Manhattan on Monroe Street in the Lower East Side. (Getty Images)
(left) JANETTE BECKMAN, RUN DMC, 1984
(left) RUN-DMC. "BILL GRAHAM PRESENTS & PACE CONCERTS PRESENT SWATCH WATCH NYC FRESH FESTIVAL" CONCERT POSTER, 1984
(left) Salt-n-Pepa's "Push It Jackets"
(left) BEASTIE BOYS "LICENSED TO ILL" CONCERT POSTER, 1987
(left) Ed Piskor, Original artwork & designs for Public Enemy action figures, w/ original set of action figures
(left) Rashaad Newsome, Saltire Compton, 2011
(left) Grey Org/Toby Mott. De La Soul, "3 Feet High And Rising" album cover study, 1988
(left) TUPAC SHAKUR. AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, NEW YORK, 1995.
(left) A Source magazine featuring Ice Cube
(left) Vintage Wu-Tang t-shirt
(left) JANETTE BECKMAN. SALT-N-PEPA. YELLOW VARIATION. SILKSCREEN. ARTIST'S PROOF. 2017
(left) September 1994 issue of Source magazine, featuring Tupac Shakur
(left) July 1995 cover of Source magazine, featuring Biggie
(left) CHI MODU. Tupac Shakur Smoking, Atlanta, GA, 1994
(left) THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.] BARRON CLAIBORNE. 1997.
(left) Jay-Z in 2003 (Mikael 'Mika' Väisänen)
(left) Eminem and Proof performing in 1999 (Image: Mika Väisänen)