FILE - This May 1, 2019 file photo shows Drake at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. SiriusXM and Pandora, companies that merged earlier this year, announced Thursday, July 25, that they have signed a new creative partnership with the superstar rapper. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Drake acquires Tupac Shakur’s Crown Ring for $1m at auction
In a surprising turn of events, rap sensation Drake has been unveiled as the proud new owner of the late Tupac Shakur’s iconic crown ring. The purchase took place at a recent auction, where Drake bid over $1 million to secure the historical artefact.
Tupac’s connection to the ring adds a poignant touch to the acquisition. The legendary artist had donned the custom-designed ring on his left ring finger during his final appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, shortly before his tragic death in Las Vegas at just 25 years old. The band bore the engraving “Pac & Dada 1996,” commemorating Tupac’s engagement to actress Kidada Jones.
Drake confirmed his role as the mystery buyer by sharing a photo of the ring on his Instagram story. Sotheby’s, the prestigious auction house responsible for the sale, corroborated the news, stating that the Grammy-winning rapper is now the esteemed owner of the crown ring.
The ring’s value soared to three times its initial estimate, commanding a staggering $1 million at auction. This sale makes it the most valuable hip-hop artefact ever sold at auction and the first to surpass the $1 million mark.
It’s revealed that the ring holds deeper significance for Tupac, as he played a key role in its design. Collaborating with his godmother, Fula, Tupac created the crown-shaped masterpiece in 1996. This was a pivotal year for the artist, as he had recently been released from prison and signed with Death Row Records. Additionally, he was in the process of launching a media group named Euphanasia.
The design of the ring was inspired by the crowns worn by mediaeval European kings, an act of “self-coronation” influenced by Tupac’s admiration for Niccolo Machiavelli’s political manifesto, “The Prince.” According to Fula, the ring was meant to celebrate Tupac’s resilience and survival through the tumultuous year.
Adorned with a large ruby at its centre, flanked by two pavé diamonds, the crown ring’s design was intentional. Tupac selected the ruby as the principal gem due to its symbolic ties to monarchy and wealth.
With this remarkable acquisition, Drake not only becomes the custodian of a significant piece of hip-hop history but also pays homage to the legacy of Tupac Shakur, one of the genre’s most influential and enduring figures.