Rap mogul Jay Z is still living the motto of “Money Ain’t A Thing” by reportedly dumping out nearly $5 million on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting.
According to reports, Young Hov made the big purchase on an iconic piece last week.
The Brooklyn-born rap impresario was the anonymous buyer of a quirky 1982 Basquiat painting titled “Mecca” at Sotheby’s in Manhattan last week, a source told The Post. His hefty purchase — an orange, white and black acrylic and oil-stick work — features the Empire State Building under a trademark Basquiat crown. Its estimated sale price was between $4 million and $6 million, so the rapper got something of a steal. But it doesn’t look as if money would have been an object anyway — Jay Z has had a love affair with the late graffiti artist and fellow Brooklyn native for several years. Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has repeatedly included in his songs references to Basquiat — who OD’d on heroin in 1988 at age 27. (New York Post)
Jigga is widely known for his appreciation of the art world, especially late and historic painters.
He said one of Basquiat’s paintings even inspired an entire track — and has lovingly talked about a print of that work that he owns. The painting, “Charles the First,” was the basis for his 2010 song “Most Kingz,” the rapper has said. It opens with the lyrics “Inspired by Basquiat, my chariot’s on fire.” In his 12th, and most recent, studio album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” Jay Z references some $493 million worth of art, according to Forbes. In one track, “Picasso Baby,” Jay Z gives a nod to Basquiat by rapping, “It ain’t hard to tell, I’m the new Jean-Michel.” (New York Post)
Some media outlets have noted Jay appears in front of a Basquiat painting alongside rapper Jeezy in a photo currently circulating online.
Jay has voiced his admiration for Basquiat on many of his raps, and the rapper already owns at least one of the New York artist’s paintings. Yesterday, he signed Jeezy to Roc Nation and posted a picture in front of his Basquiat painting with the caption “It’s Official Now” on his site Life + Times. (Complex)
Last summer, mega producer Swizz Beatz managed to get Jay to dig into his pocket and cop a Holy Grail-themed painting.
Swizz Beatz’ art will soon be hanging from the walls of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s house. The Roc Nation mogul has purchased a Mercedes-Benz hood that Swizz adorned with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s face. He dubbed the piece “Holy Grail” and dedicated it to Hov. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to art schools. “Look who purchased my Basquiat on Benz Hood 2day,” tweeted Swizz. “what a honor and Blessing I’m so grateful for the support! July 4 its Showtime ART LIFE!!! I will use proceeds to continue helping kids in need.” The piece is 1/50 car hoods he plans to create for his art exhibit. The super-producer also designed a Porsche hood with Muhammad Ali‘s face, which fetched $24,000 at auction. (Rap-Up)