In the ever-expanding world of digital assets, a beloved photograph of the late rapper, The Notorious B.I.G., real name Christopher Wallace, is entering the realm of NFTs. This image, known as “The King Of New York,” was initially captured in 1997 by celebrated photographer Barron Claiborne, a mere three days before the rapper tragically lost his life in a drive-by shooting.
The photograph, featuring the lyricist with a subtly tilted crown on his head, has become a staple in the visual archive of hip-hop. Culture journalist and author, Vikki Tobak, has recognized the image as a veritable “symbol of greatness” in the music genre.
Auction Details: A Blend of the Physical and the Digital
The intersection of physical and digital realms has found its expression in this unique auction. A cutout from the original contact sheet, measuring 6 x 7 centimeters, is up for auction, supplemented by a one-of-one Ethereum NFT or “digital twin.” This NFT serves a dual purpose of confirming provenance and indicating ownership on the blockchain.
The auction has already kicked off via the Kairos platform and is set to span over 30 days. The bidding starts at a hefty sum of 50 ETH (equivalent to $93,500). Apart from acquiring a piece of hip-hop history, the highest bidder will enjoy an added bonus: a phone call with the man behind the lens, Barron Claiborne, to delve into the backstory of this legendary image.
Expanded KONY Series and Future Plans
The King Of New York (KONY) series goes beyond just the original photograph and its NFT. It encompasses a limited edition of NFTs featuring an animated digital version of the Biggie portrait. Only nine editions of this unique digital artwork are available, each priced at 1 ETH ($1,865).
For those keen on obtaining a piece of this series, an open edition drop of a digital collectible, inspired by the crown in the photograph is available for 0.03 ETH (approximately $55). This open edition implies no cap on the number of these NFTs. Additionally, a separate auction for a digital bust of Notorious B.I.G. is underway.
Further plans are also in the pipeline. Starting from July 26, Claiborne plans to vend 100 editions of a digital version of the original still photo, each paired with a physical print, at 1 ETH apiece. Come August, an unusual item is set to be auctioned – one of the limited edition Notorious B.I.G. New York City MetroCards, distributed last year at specific subway stations. This signed card will be paired with an NFT, adding another fascinating facet to this physical and digital memorabilia blend.
Sky’s The Limit NFT Collection
Last year marked a milestone for the enduring legacy of the late rap legend, The Notorious B.I.G., as his digital collection, aptly named “Sky’s The Limit,” sold out almost instantly after its launch. A testament to his persistent influence in the world of hip-hop, the demand for this collection surpassed expectations.
The Christopher Wallace Estate, stewards of Biggie’s legacy, made the strategic decision to release this digital collection in partnership with the NFT market platform, Oneof. This move into the cutting-edge world of blockchain technology emphasizes Biggie’s timeless appeal and pioneering spirit.
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