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"I like it when money makes a difference but don't make you different."
With his net worth estimated to be north of a quarter of a billion dollars at this point, Drake's money has certainly made a difference in his lifestyle.....and perhaps his pursuits as well.
Wealthy celebrities collecting high-end items, art, and artifacts is nothing new, but in the social media era, the widespread exposure of those collections is a relatively recent phenomenon. For those bidding on the assets that headline auctions, they have to wonder: am I bidding against someone looking to flex to tens of millions of followers? Will this item appear on the red carpet at the Met Gala? Am I about to lose to Kim Kardashian again?!
Like Kardashian, Drake's collecting has been well documented in recent months, and with 140 million followers, a large global audience will be taking notice.
The general public initially became more aware of Drake's collecting habits in the spring of last year as he famously pursued LeBron's Flawless Triple Logoman card. For four hours on an Instagram live alongside Ken Goldin, Drake broke ten cases of the Flawless product and various other boxes, including 1986 Fleer Basketball. While he ultimately came up empty in his pursuit of the coveted LeBron card, he hit six Michael Jordan rookies - three cards and three stickers. Given the timing of the event - heading into a broad market dip - the stream did not instantly catapult the Hobby to new heights (duh), but it still felt like a landmark moment nonetheless: a sign of validation from, like it or not, one of the most influential people in modern pop culture.
As it turned out, this was far from his first foray into collecting. Later last year, he revealed an incredible collection of autographs, including jerseys signed by Barack Obama, Dennis Rodman, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James (not ranked in order of importance, obviously Rodman would be first). Alongside them, he showcased a PSA slabbed letter from Tupac Shakur and an autograph from Pablo Escobar.
Fast forward another month. In January of this year, Drake dropped a music video flexing $2.7 million in items from Pharell's personal collection, auctioned in late 2022 on his newly-launched auction platform, JOOPITER. Among them:
Basically, if he was indeed the buyer of these items, he went on a full blown shopping spree in JOOPITER'S initial auction event, and then he broadcast his acquisitions for the world to see. Anytime you see a gold-plated PSP, you simply have to have it. We don't make the rules of high-profile rapper flexing, we just enforce them. What was wrong with the gold-plated Blackberry though, Drake?
It appears jewelry continues to be a not-so-guilty pleasure for the artist.
Last week, Tupac's crown ring wowed observers when it sold for $1,016,000, more than 3x its estimate. After just a couple days, the gold, ruby, and diamond jewel could be seen on Drake's finger...on his Instagram. The sale marks another key victory for important music provenance, and ironically, it could be Drake who is building the most valuable provenance of all....so long as he mixes in more culturally-impactful items like these alongside the bedazzled Oakleys.
As his collection grows and he continues to showcase it, he could be informing what the next generation of high-end collecting ultimately looks like. And when items from his collection trickle to public sale, the results could be significant. With no disrespect to Mr. Jim Irsay and his unparalleled collection of important cultural artifacts, the Drake collection just might carry more cache with the youth when they rise to affluence. His collection didn't start from the bottom, but now it's certainly here to stay.
Hopefully, Drake's not into trading card games though, because he'll have some major competition from a rap peer; Post Malone just reportedly completed the (likely seven-figure) purchase of the Magic the Gathering "The One Ring" card. No word on whether or not he's also targeting gold-plated 2000s electronics.
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