The Rapper 2 Chainz Sizes Up the Art at Christie’s

Ms. Celis first led 2 Chainz through a again door into Gallery Six, on the west aspect of the building, which housed Andy Warhol’s 28-foot-wide “Sixty Previous Suppers,” a composition of 60 black-and-white silk-display screen interpretations of da Vinci’s iconic painting, and one of Warhol’s last works. It had been valued at $50 million (and finished up retailing for $60.87 million.)

“This is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said 2 Chainz, temporarily struggling for words as he gazed at the gargantuan piece of art. “This makes me desire to be a billionaire. Can you imagine having this over your dining room table? Oh my God. You’d have to have the longest dining room table in history.”

The group walked to Gallery One, and as Ms. Celis was describing another painting, 2 Chainz was distracted by a 40-carat yellow diamond ring shown behind a wall structure of cup. As his stage brand suggests, 2 Chainz is usually a jewelry fanatic.


“Wear it me! I’m likely to marry myself up coming year,” he said, going for a detour into the earrings section. A phone was put to Caroline Ervin, a junior earrings consultant, who promptly arrived and fetched the ring. The rapper was taken aback by the $2.5 million price tag. “I acquired a couple us dollars laying around, but Jesus I better commence rapping all night.”

He’s accustomed to doing work for his riches. 2 Chainz, born Tauheed Epps, was raised in the indegent Atlanta suburb of College Park and played basketball at Alabama Condition University before dropping out and retailing prescription drugs at a carwash. He started rapping and fell in with the neighborhood rapper Ludacris, who signed him to the Disturbing Tha Peace label as part of a duo known as Playaz Circle.

In 2007, Playaz Circle had a little hit with the track “Duffle Carrier Boy,” which presented Lil Wayne, but it wasn’t until Mr. Epps changed his brand to 2 Chainz around 2011, and made extravagance and outsize riches part of his manufacturer, that his career took off.


He contributed quotable, frequently comical guest verses to tracks by Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, and released his debut album, “Predicated on a good T.R.U. Account” with Def Jam Recordings in 2012. It gone platinum and was nominated for a Grammy for greatest rap album.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

“That helped me manage my children,” said 2 Chainz, who is nowadays 40, married and has three children. His most up-to-date album, “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music,” strike No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in June. “But seriously, I’m nonetheless grinding. I’m nonetheless learning.”

In 2014, 2 Chainz started a GQ online video series on the most expensive stuff on the globe, and over three seasons he sampled outrageously priced items including a $1,000 ice cream sundae and a $4,000 German toothbrush. A weekly 30-minute version of exhibit debuted on Viceland on Nov. 15.

Newsletter Sign Up Read on the main story Of as soon as The approach to life newsletter from the Variations, Travel and Foodstuff sections, offering the latest trends to information you can utilize. Please verify you’re not a robot by hitting the box. Invalid email. Please re-enter. You need to select a newsletter to subscribe to. Sign Up You agree to receive occasional improvements and special deals for THE BRAND NEW York Times’s products and services. Many thanks for subscribing. An error has occurred. Please make an effort again later. View new York Times newsletters.

Christie’s absolutely has its show of outrageously expensive items. In Gallery One, 2 Chainz was drawn to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Il Duce,” a manic and surreal rendering of a demented face, valued at $25 million. He summoned his photographer to have a photo of him posing before it, so when the rapper sensed additional patrons were put off by this patterns, said: “I’m making these white persons mad right here.”

After he got his photo, 2 Chainz moved along to “Paramount Photographs,” a collaboration between Basquiat and Warhol that reimagines the film studio’s iconic logo. He required a selfie before the work, and contemplated obtaining it.

“Tell me, if I spend a million upon a painting, what carry out I think when I awaken the next morning hours?” he asked Ms. Celis.


“Well,” Ms. Celis said, “if you were able to understand this at a million, that would be an incredible price.” Certainly, it went the next day for $2.77 million.

It had been nearing the closing hour of 5 p.m., and 2 Chainz was growing impatient. “Have me to the big one,” he said, referring to the work that Christie’s has known as “The Previous da Vinci.”

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

A line of about 100 people even now were waiting to catch a glimpse of the unusual painting by the Italian get better at, but Ms. Celis led 2 Chainz again through a again door to see it without waiting.

“Oh my God. $100 million,” 2 Chainz said, referring to the estimated benefit and shaking his head in disbelief as he gazed after the revered painting of Christ. (It would sell the next day for a record-shattering $450.3 million.)

“This is the best famous painting on the globe,” Ms. Celis said, before outlining the multiyear painstaking method involved with authenticating it.

A good crowd of roughly 20 persons nonetheless hovered around “Salvator Mundi,” but with Christie’s set to close in ten minutes, security guards informed everyone it had been time to keep. Being a keen arbiter of extravagance, 2 Chainz remained skeptical of the painting’s worthy of.

“So,” he said turning to face Ms. Celis. “Inform me one more time, how do we realize it’s not a copy of a duplicate?”

Read more on: