Biggie Smalls, also know as the Notorious B.I.G, was at the height of his rap career when he was gunned down in a 1997 drive-by shooting. Now a gruesome relic from the event is up for auction.
A hubcap from the GMC Suburban that Notorious B.I.G. , real name Christopher Wallace, was murdered in has gone up for sale and could fetch up to $150,000.
Wallace was shot five times in the Los Angeles drive-by shooting. He was just 24 . He was in LA to promote his second studio album, Life After Death.
Moments in Time, an online auction house of unusual items, are brokering the sale of one of four hubcaps from the Suburban, and it has a proven provenance.
The hubcab still features part of a sticker advertising Biggie’s album.
The seller got it from a family friend who owned the rental company which owned the car that Biggie was riding in. He held onto the part for years before deciding to sell, according to gossip site TMZ.
The sticker says, ‘THINK B.I.G. MARCH 25 1997’, which was the album’s release date.
Last summer, a King of NY crown worn by the ‘Big Poppa’ hitmaker in his final photoshoot sold for a staggering $594,750 at auction, far exceeding the $200,000-$300,000 auction house Sotheby’s had expected it to fetch.
The price of the headgear was all the more shocking because the plastic crown cost photographer Barron Claiborne just $6 at the time.
“This crown is a novelty item; I bought it at a place on Broadway called Gordon’s,” said Claiborne.
“Without Biggie, the crown would not be worth [six figures]. I only paid six bucks for it.”
Elsewhere at that sale, 22 letters written by the late Tupac Shakur to his high school sweetheart, Slick Rick’s diamond-encrusted eyepatch and Salt-N-Pepa’s jackets worn in their ‘Push It’ music video also went under the hammer.
Some of the money raised was donated to Queens Public Library Hip Hop programmes and non-profit Building Beats.
On March 7, Wallace presented an award to Toni Braxton at the 1997 Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles and was booed by some of the audience. At the time, Wallace was embroiled in a feud between East and West Coast rappers.
The following evening, March 8, he attended an after-party hosted by Vibe magazine and Qwest Records at the Petersen Automotive Museum in West Los Angeles.
At around 12:30 a.m., the Fire Department closed the event because of overcrowding. Biggie and his crew got in two GMC Suburbans and headed back to his hotel.
Wallace was sitting in the front passenger seat alongside his associates Damion “D-Roc” Butler, Junior M.A.F.I.A. member Lil’ Cease, and driver Gregory “G-Money” Young.
Wallace’s SUV stopped at a red light on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and South Fairfax Avenue just 50 yards from the museum.
A dark-colored 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS pulled up alongside Wallace’s SUV. The driver, a black male, rolled down his window, drew a 9 mm blue-steel pistol and fired four shots at the Suburban, according to local press reports at the time.
Biggie was hit all four times but only the last bullet proved fatal. He was rushed to the hospital but died in surgery.
Retired LAPD Officer Greg Kading alleged that Death Row Records head Marion “Suge” Knight orchestrated the murder in revenge for the killing of West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur in a similar drive-by shooting.
Biggie’s murder remains unsolved.