The Top Hip-Hop Collectibles To Look Out For

hip hop collectibles mobile
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

So you're wondering all about hip-hop collectibles?

You’ve likely heard the phrase “rappers want to be athletes and athletes want to be rappers.” There’s good reason for that.

Sports and hip-hop have long been in sync in popular culture. From MC Hammer roaming the sidelines at 1990s Atlanta Falcons games due to his obsession with Deion Sanders (now “Coach Prime” for the Colorado Buffaloes), to Drake sitting court side and becoming an official “global ambassador” for the Toronto Raptors, it’s only natural that this would eventually become true from a collectibles standpoint as well.

Here, I'll introduce a list of the top hip-hop collectibles of all time, as well as the top hip-hop collectible categories.

Why is identifying categories more intriguing than simply listing cool collectibles? Because one can argue that collectibles only have intrinsic value to collectors. However, when broken down into categories where multiple true sales of the same item type have been recorded, there becomes a real market for it.

This is what has happened in the sports card market, and I see potential for this with hip-hop collectibles as well.

So while athletes like Shaq, Chris Webber and others have tried to rap, and artists like Master P (Percy Miller), have actually played pro basketball, the connection between the recent rise of the sports card market, and potentially emerging categories of hip-hop collectibles makes a ton of sense.

Without further ado, here is my list of the top hip-hop collectible categories as well as some eye opening sales:

10. Jerseys & Jackets

eminem tigers jersey

Not a huge departure from sports memorabilia here, and a great example of aligning artists with cities they represent, we have the custom Detroit Tigers Eminem Autograph PSA / DNA Authenticated Majestic Jersey. Complete with a backwards “E” in the name “Mathers” on the back of the jersey, representing the second E in EMINEM always being backwards on each of his album covers, with Marshall having signed the player number 8 on the back (for 8 Mile), it sold for $2,425 with 22 bids on eBay on December 18, 2022.

While a super cool item, the Mathers jersey isn’t “artist-worn,” but this Snoop Dogg Pittsburgh Penguins Jersey that sold for $2,175 with 37 bids on eBay on December 11, 2022 claims to be a 1/1 Artist Worn and Autographed item - the significance of the Pittsburgh Penguins jersey with player number 94 being what Snoop wore in the Gin & Juice music video from 1994 while on Death Row Records.

Both items sold for a similar price, and have their own unique twist. While Eminem didn’t wear the custom Tigers jersey, it comes with an authentication letter from PSA/DNA. The Snoop item on the other hand doesn’t appear to come with any autograph authentication or verification that it was ever worn by Snoop himself.

In addition to these unique jerseys selling on eBay, there have been some solid jackets from the personal collections of iconic hip-hop artists that have sold via Sotheby’s.

  • Jazzy Jay's personalized Def Jam varsity bomber jacket, [ca. 1985] - Bidding ended at between $3k-$5k
  • Gerrie Summers' Kiss 98.7 fm varsity jacket, [ca. 1988] - Bidding ended at between $1k-$1,500
  • Chuck D's original Raiders Starter jacket, signed by him, [1988] - Bidding ended at between $7k-$10k
  • Afrika Islam's custom Zulu Nation leather jacket, [ca. 1987] - Bidding ended at between $3k-$5k
  • Crazy Legs' performance-worn Adidas track jacket, [1983] - Bidding ended at between $2k - $3k
  • Early '80s Zulu Nation jacket custom-made for Jazzy Jay - Bidding ended at between $2k - $3k
  • [Bad Boy Records] - Leather Avirex Bad Boy varsity jacket - Bidding ended at between $5k - $8k

9. Jewelry

snoop death row
Snoop Dogg

Speaking of the D-O Double G, this Snoop Dogg Worn Giant Death Row Records Pendant & Chain sold for $3,850 on eBay on December 11, 2022. 

Upon joining Death Row Records in 1992, each artist to join the label was gifted a medallion and chain like this one. They were rarely removed from their necks during the record label’s heyday. 

And now that Snoop owns Death Row and its brand assets, this medallion and other Death Row collectibles could have increased relevance in the coming years.

What's unclear is if this was actually Snoop’s real chain, or simply a replica that he wore once. This listing is from the same eBay seller who sold the Penguins jersey mentioned above. I’d caution you to be careful when buying any memorabilia that doesn’t come with an official authentication letter from a reputable company.

Sotheby’s recently closed bidding on this Ice T “Africa” pendant worn by him on the cover of his album “Power” in 1988. The lot includes a promo poster signed by him and sold for between $3k-$5k.

8. Funkos

Notorious Big Funko

Like ‘em or not, they’re selling. A “rare” Notorious B.I.G. Funko Pop sold on eBay for an insane $3,134.99. It was the #18 SDCC 2011 in a 7.0 Grade by VV GS (The Visual Vinyl Grading System) - the first grading system for Funko POPs.

Other Hip-Hop POPs are selling too. 

Eminem’s B-Rabbit 8 Mile #1052 has recently sold multiple times for between $90-$100 on eBay, Tupac Shakur #158 just sold for $53, Eric “Eazy-E” Wright #171 sold for $106 and even Darryl “DMC” McDaniels #200 of Run-DMC sold for $159.99 on January 1, 2023.

While Hip-Hop Funko POPs may seem like a quirky fad to some, they actually could be as close to a sustainable market segment of collectibles as any on this list, due to their sales volume, production runs, rarity, and gradability.

7. Sneakers

eminem jordans

This should be no surprise, but Hip Hop sneakers are blazing. A pair of the SAMPLE NIKE Air Jordan EMINEM 4 Slim Shady IV 9 DS Promo IV sb 2017 just sold on eBay on October 28, 2022 for $24,099 with 82 bids, and some of the hottest items on Sotheby’s are the following sold sneakers:

6. Trading Cards

jay z red refractor

Hip-Hop icons like Jay-Z have actually appeared in sports card releases like Topps Chrome Basketball in the past, and sets like Topps Allen & Ginter have featured autograph cards from artists like Snoop Dogg, B-Real of Cypress Hill and many more. And there are also the mass-produced but super cool and collectible 1990 and 1991 Pro Set Yo! MTV Raps Cards, and other sets like 1991 Premier Premier Rap Pack. 

If you’re looking for low-end fun, grab a box of the Yo! MTV Raps Cards for around $50 and rip it. See what icons you get. A Chuck D PSA 10 just sold for $54 and a Run DMC PSA 10 sold for $99

Two Snoop Dogg PSA 9s from the 1995 Panini Smash Hits set just sold for $299.99 each. If you want to try your luck at pulling one to get graded at PSA, grab a lot on eBay now for around $2.50/pack. Or if you feel like spending more money, grab an autographed PSA / DNA certified version of this card on eBay for around $1,300.

Iconic auctions just sold a Beckett Authenticated Too $hort rookie from the 1991 Rap Pack set for just over $200.

A Notorious B.I.G Biggie Rookie Card 2012 Platinum League Self Made card just sold for $375 on eBay.

Just like the sports card market, the more popular the athlete (or artist in this case) and the more rare the card, the more valuable. The 2005-06 Topps Finest Jay-Z 5/9 and Topps Chrome Jay-Z 1/1 just sold as a pair on eBay on October 23, 2022 for $12,000.

5. Event Tickets

seldon tyson ticket stub

Similar to graded ticket stubs from iconic sports games, there is a brewing collectibles market for ticket stubs from classic hip-hop shows and rare events. 

While a 1986 Hip-Hop Festival Ticket featuring Kurtis Blow just sold on eBay for $39.99 and a 1987 Run-DMC reunion concert ticket stub sold for $30, a Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon Boxing Ticket from September 7, 1996 graded a PSA 1 sold on eBay for $2,275 with 20 bids on eBay. The hip-hop significance of this? Tupac Shakur attended this fight just before he suffered ultimately fatal gunshot wounds later that night.

Want one actually signed by Mike Tyson? A PSA 9 POP 1 is available on eBay for $25k or best offer.

4. Original Concert Posters & Handbill Show Flyers

hip hop ticket stubs

It looks like maybe even more popular than hip-hop ticket stubs are actually handbill show flyers from when the artists were building their careers early on, before their record label days. 

An original handbill from a Biggie Smalls show in 1993 just sold on eBay for $766. A Wu-Tang clan show handbill from 1993 sold for $261, and another from a different show in 1993 sold for $521.

Even less rare but original promo posters for shows sell for hundreds of dollars. A Luniz Operation Stackola promo poster 1995 I Got 5 on It Bay Area just sold for $400 and a Run-DMC Raising Hell Tour Poster sold for just less than $3k. Many more sold via Sotheby’s recently, including:

  • Kurtis Blow Super Jam Music Festival at The Felt Forum concert poster and accompanying concert ticket, 1980 - Bidding Ended at between $1,500 - $2k
  • Important single-owner collection of early Hip Hop flyers from legendary DJ Jazzy Jay, late 1970s-early 1980s - Bidding Ended at between $20k - $30k
  • 1990 Public Enemy; Heavy D. and the Boyz; Kid 'N Play; Digital Underground Concert Poster - Bidding Ended at $1,500 - $2k
  • [Cey Adams] | [LL Cool J] - Nitro World Tour concert poster, 1989 - Bidding Ended at between $1,500 - $2k
  • Ol' Dirty Bastard at The Roseland concert poster, 1998 - Bidding Ended at $2k - $3k
  • Slick Rick; Too $hort; Xzibit; Tha Alkaholiks - West Coast Roast Fest 2000 concert poster - Bidding Ended at between $2k - $3k
  • Jay-Z; DMX; Method Man; Redman - Hard Knock Life Tour at the Arco Arena concert poster, 1999 - Bidding Ended at between $3k - $5k
  • KRS-One at the Hollywood Athletic Club concert poster, 1998 - Bidding Ended at between $1,500 - $2,500
  • Lil' Kim at The Strand concert poster, 1997 - Bidding Ended at $2,500 - $3,500
  • Busta Rhymes at The Strand concert poster, 1996 - Bidding Ended at $2,500 - $3,500

3. Autographed Vinyl Album Covers

wu tang auto album cover

Hip Hop started on turntables, so it’s only fitting that nearly 50 years after the first parties occurred on the ones and twos, that autographed vinyl and vinyl album covers are super collectible. Some of the top recent sales include:

  • Wu-Tang Clan Complete Band Signed 36 Chambers Album Cover $699.99 on eBay.
  • Fab 5 Freddy and Beside's “Change the Beat” 12 inch vinyl, signed and with original artwork by Keith Haring, [1982] - Bidding Ended at between $5k - $8k via Sotheby’s
  • Dr. Dre Signed "The Chronic" Album Cover (JSA Authenticated) - $700 via Iconic Auctions
  • Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg RARE Dual Signed "The Wash" Album Soundtrack ACOA Authenticated - $650 via Iconic Auctions
  • Eminem Signed "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" 12" LP Cover (Beckett/BAS & PSA/DNA Authenticated) - $1,500 via Iconic Auctions

Run-DMC Group Signed Self-Titled Debut Album with All 3 Members! (Beckett/BAS & JSA Authenticated - $1,200 via Iconic Auctions

2. Drum Machines

jazzy jay mixer

Yep, Artist Used Drum Machines like the one legendary producer Jazzy Jay used to program LL Cool J’s “Rock The Bells” in 1985, produced by Rick Rubin and released by Def Jam Records sold for between $2k - $3k via Sotheby’s.

Afrika Islam's Roland TB-303, used by him to produce Ice T's "Colors" (1987) and "Squeeze the Trigger" (1987), with the basslines for both still programmed into the machine, signed by both of them sold for between $2k - $3k via Sotheby’s.

1. RIAA Gold & Platinum Plaques

puff daddy no way out

Closing out my list of hip-hop collectibles is a category that 99.9% of us will never actually earn, these Platinum Plaques. When I stumbled across a Bell Biv Devoe Poison Platinum Plaque that sold for just under $600 on eBay, I did a little more research and found RIAA Plaque Awards that have sold recently, many of which are still available from legendary hip-hop artists. 

Recent Sales Include:

  • Ice Cube - The Predator RIAA Award Platinum Plaque Presented To Ice Cube - sold for $1,995 on eBay.
  • RIAA Bone Thugs N Harmony 4X Platinum Award Plaque - sold for $1239.99 on eBay.
  • 2 Live Crew Me So Horny Platinum Record RIAA Plaque Award - sold for $800 on eBay.
  • Outkast RIAA Certified DIAMOND Award Plaque For Speakerboxx/The Love Below - sold for $2k on eBay.
  • Puff Daddy and The Family “No Way Out” platinum record plaque sold for between $2k - $3k via Sotheby’s.
  • Cash Money Records including Hot Boys with Lil’ Wayne multi-artist, multi-platinum plaque sold for between $2k - $3k via Sotheby’s.
  • Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony "The Art of War" quadruple-platinum record plaque sold for between $1,500 - $2,500 via Sotheby’s. 
  • DJ Quik “Quik is the Name" gold record plaque sold for between $1,500 - $2k via Sotheby’s
  • Digital Undergound “Sex Packets" platinum record plaque sold for between $1,500 - $2,500 via Sotheby’s 
  • Public Enemy Multi-platinum career plaque sold for between $1,500 - $2,500 via Sotheby’s
  • Public Enemy “Apocalypse 91” platinum record plaque sold for between $1,500 - $2,500 via Sotheby’s 
  • Public Enemy “Fear of a Black Planet” platinum record plaque sold for between $1,500 - $2,500 via Sotheby’s

Still Available Include:

  • Tupac “How Do You Want It / California Love” 2 Million RIAA Award 
  • Jay-Z First RIAA Gold Record Award to Dame Dash
  • Wiz Khalifa Award Plaque, RIAA Certified Multi-Platinum
  • Kanye West Award Plaque RIAA Certified Multi-Platinum, Graduation
  • Dr. DRE Chronic 2001 RIAA PLATINUM Record Sales Award AUTHENTIC
  • Snoop Dogg No Limit Records - Top Dogg RIAA Platinum Record Sales Award
  • Lil Wayne Tha Carter 3 Double Platinum Album Official Plaque Memorabilia RIAA
  • Rihanna RIAA Certified GIANT SIZED Award Plaque 12X Multi-Platinum

Notable: Perhaps the coolest of the hip-hop collectibles I came across were letters that Tupac Shakur wrote to people close to him, as well as poems and sketches of his. A Haiku and sketch sold for between $200,000 - $300,000, the largest documented sale of hip-hop collectibles I've seen.

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