It’s amazing how many factors play into a person’s rise to fame. Take Jean-Michel Basquiat, a Haitian and Puerto Rican kid from Brooklyn, who died 29 years ago. He was only 27 years old when he passed away of a drug overdose on August 12, 1988. Now, a painting of a skull he created in 1982 has sold for $110.5 million, according to The New York Times. The painting was bought by 41-year-old Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. See the painting and Yusaku below:
Maezawa is such a fan of Basquait that last year, he bought another painting of his for $57.3 million. But the art collector has company when it comes to his love of Basquiat — while Jay Z hasn’t dropped quite as much cash to own a piece of the artist’s legacy, he has immortalized the late painter on wax.
Our boy Hov has been name-dropping Basquiat in songs for years, bragging about Blue Ivy owning a Basquiat painting and even getting into a verbal dart match with Drake over his love for the artist. In Jay’s Basquiat lyrics, he captures the brilliance of the artist in a hip hop context. So let’s go down memory lane with six Jay Z lyrics that personifies Jean-Michel Basquiat:
Jay Z | Magna Carta… Holy Grail | BBC | “Britney, bitch/ MCM seats buck 50 stitch
Versace plates/ got the Basquiat Collab from Versace’s place”
Jay Z dropped 4.5 million dollars for a Basquiat painting called “Mecca’’
Jay Z | Magna Carta… Holy Grail |Picasso Baby | “It ain’t hard to tell, I’m the new Jean-Michel.”
Jay is referencing his love of art.
Jay Z | Magna Carta… Holy Grail |Picasso Baby | “Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner / Go ‘head, lean on that shit Blue, you own it”
Referring to the famous Basquiat painting, Charles The First, a yellow and blue painting that Jay Z wouldn’t mind letting Blue ruin because she owns it. Thats crazy but you know… Opulence.
Jay Z | Most Kings | Freestyle “Inspired by Basquiat, my chariot’s on fire/ Everybody took shots, hit my body up, I’m tired”
At a time when Jay was throwing a lot of sublimes and holding on to his crown as the king of hip hop, there was a Basquiat hanging in lobby that inspired this song, which he mentioned in his book Decoded.
Rick Ross F Jay Z | Rich Forever | Three Kings | “Millions on the wall in all my rooms/ Niggas couldn’t f*ck with my daughter’s room / Niggas couldn’t walk in my daughter’s socks/Banksy bitches, Basquiat / I ran through that buck fifty Live Nation fronted me”
It’s safe to say Jay Z spent a whole lot of money on the art hanging on his walls. Blue and the new twins are basically growing up in a museum.
Jay Z | We Made It | Freestyle | “Sorry Mrs. Drizzy for so much art talk / Silly me rappin’ ’bout shit that I really bought”
While he doesn’t mention Basquiat by name, we know what he means by art talk.