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Jay Z

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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.

Jay Z on Basquiat: Six Fire Lyrics About SAMO  was originally published on

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