How much would you spend for a copy of a hip-hop classic? For Eminem, the going rate is somewhere between $500 and $600, as he revealed during a discussion on the popular voice chat app, Clubhouse. While the burgeoning community on Clubhouse has been known for causing controversy in the past, this past weekend, fans of the Detroit rapper held a celebratory “Shady Con” in his honor, with guests including his manager Paul Rosenberg and DJ Whoo Kid. Em himself stopped by to share some stories as well, telling fans about the time he just had to spend a little extra on his hero Nas’ seminal debut Illmatic to feed his collection habit.
As Em explained, I’ve been collecting since I was a kid, everything from comic books to baseball cards to toys, as well as every rap album on cassette I could get my hands on. Not much has changed for me as an adult.” When he found an unsealed cassette copy of Nas’ game-changing classic, his mind was blown. “I think it’s backstock from what records stores had in the back storage,” he said. “The tapes that never sold and they just kept them. That’s the only thing I can think of. Cause nobody’s going to have a f*cking Illmatic tape and not open it.” He also good-naturedly compared the value of his own debut The Slim Shady LP — which was a culture shifter in the vein of Illmatic, for sure — under similar conditions, saying it’d draw a tidy sum of “twelve cents.”
For what it’s worth, it’s not the worst way to spend money — which Em has more than enough of. An unsealed copy of a classic album on a discontinued format is exactly the sort of ultra-rare find that has wannabe collectors including Eminem going NFT crazy these days — and it also sort of shows the difference between a physical piece of owned art and the idea of owning a certificate of a jpeg or whatever.
Listen to Eminem’s amusing anecdote above.