Why Is Jean-Michel Basquiat Hip-Hop’s Favorite Artist?

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Thirty years after the death of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, his legacy is seen and felt more than ever. Basquiat’s name is constantly called out in rap lyrics from artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rick Ross, Nas, and J. Cole. Some even have Basquiat tattoos. Last year, Basquiat’s piece “Untitled” sold for a record $110.5 million, making it one of the most expensive works by a U.S. painter and African-American artist. He died of a heroin overdose at his NYC apartment on Aug. 12, 1988. He was 27.

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