*An anonymous buyer of a 1982 Basquiat painting titled “Mecca’’ at Sotheby’s in Manhattan last week turned out to be none other than Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.
His hefty purchase — an orange, white and black acrylic and oil-stick work — features the Empire State Building under a trademark Basquiat crown.
Jay Z has had a love affair with fellow Brooklyn native Jean-Michel Basquiat for several years. The rapper has repeatedly included in his songs references to the late graffiti artist — who OD’d on heroin in 1988 at age 27.
He said one of Basquiat’s paintings even inspired an entire track — and has lovingly talked about a print of that work that he owns.
The painting, “Charles the First,’’ was the basis for his 2010 song “Most Kingz,’’ the rapper has said. It opens with the lyrics “Inspired by Basquiat, my chariot’s on fire.”
In his 12th, and most recent, studio album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” Jay Z references some $493 million worth of art, according to Forbes. In one track, “Picasso Baby,’’ Jay Z gives a nod to Basquiat by rapping, “It ain’t hard to tell, I’m the new Jean-Michel.”
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