The book, which features haiku poems written by an 11-year-old Tupac Shakur, has never been published or seen by the general public before.
Sotheby’s auction page features a short clip of Tupac’s godfather, Jamal Joseph, reading segments and poems from the book while speaking about his influence on hip hop.
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Joseph was gifted the book by Tupac some 40 years ago while he was incarcerated alongside other Black Panther activists. It also featured several love letters written by Tupac to his childhood sweetheart at just 17.
The book is expected to fetch anywhere between $200,000 and $300,000 when the sale ends today, March 30, in New York. The book will go on auction under Sotheby’s annual The Art and Influence of Hip Hop collection.
The collection also features art, photography, hand-written documents, historic studio equipment, fashion, important artefacts, NFTs, spanning the 1970s through to the present from the likes of MF Doom, Ricky Powell, Shock G of Digital Underground, and more.
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Elsewhere in the collection, Chuck D’s original "Tour-Worn" silver Raiders Starter jacket signed by the artist goes on auction alongside original album concept art for Beastie Boys’ ‘License to III’.
Sotheby’s Global Head of Science and Popular Culture, Cassandra Hatton, said on the annual auction: “Following the success of Sotheby’s historic first Hip Hop auction in 2020, our second sale in this series expands on the generational, geographic, and artistic scope of Hip Hop’s creative narrative.”
“From the ’70s to the present, from the East Coast to the West, The Art and Influence of Hip Hop seeks to represent and honour the voices and visionaries who continue to move the crowd and redefine culture.”
Find out more about the auction here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter