Jay Z purchased a $4.5 million Jean-Michel Basquiat piece titled “Mecca,” according to The New York Post.
The piece features the Empire State Building, as per The Post.
In July, Jay Z purchased a painting of Jean-Michel Basquiat from Swizz Beatz. Beatz painted a portrait of Basquiat on the hood of a luxury vehicle and sold it to Jay Z for an undisclosed amount. The money from the sale reportedly went to charity, as per complex.com.
Basquiat passed away of a heroin overdose in 1988. He was 27.
Jay Z has rapped about Jean-Michel Basquiat on various selections.
On 2010’s “Most Kingz,” Jay Z rapped about being inspired by Basquiat’s paintings.
“Inspired by Basquiat,” Jay Z rhymes on the track. “My chariot’s on fire.”
On 2013’s “Picasso Baby,” Jay Z also references the painter.
“It ain’t hard to tell,” Jay Z raps. “I’m the new Jean-Michel.”
During the same selection, Jay Z also raps about having a Basquiat piece in his kitchen.
“When art started becoming part of the galleries, it became a separation between culture and even in Hip Hop, people were almost like, ‘Art is too bourgeois,'” Jay Z said in HBO’s Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film. “We are artists. We’re alike. We’re cousins. That’s where it’s really exciting for me, bringing the worlds back together.”
During the same television special, Jay Z also spoke about how he views his performances as an art.
“Concerts are pretty much performance art,” Jay said. “The venues change. Just by nature of the venues, the performance changes. If you’re in a smaller venue, it’s a bit more intimate so you get to feel the energy of the people…In a concert, especially in a large concert, all that energy comes to you. What do you do with that energy?”