Makaveli Cover Album Artwork by Riskie Forever Will Be Auctioned to Celebrate 25th Anniversary


The original album cover painting of The Don by Tupac Shakur Killuminati: The 7 Day Theoryregistered under the pseudonym Makaveli, will be auctioned by Riskie Forever in collaboration with Zelus, a company that aims to revolutionize the way people interact with art and finance, and Heritage Auctions.

Blanket Makaveli

In collaboration with Heritage, Zelus will auction the original album cover painting by June 18, along with a one-of-a-kind NFT that includes a never-before-seen account by Riskie of the early days of the piece. On a 29″ × 47″ canvas viewed through a 35″ x 53″ frame, the original painting was done using airbrush and mixed media. The NFT will provide the buyer with a one-of-a-kind collectible experience tied to a piece of hip-hop history.

Risky candid 5

On his “Hotboxin’ w/ Mike Tyson” podcast, longtime friend of Tupac Shakur and boxing legend Mike Tyson will discuss the original painting while showcasing the artwork. He will talk about his memories of Tupac, as well as the importance of the album cover in the history of music. On May 19, the show will appear on YouTube with special guests Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

“That episode was cool to shoot,” Tyson said. “Having the opportunity to honor Pac and have this painting here with us was awesome. This is by far the most iconic hip hop album cover of all time.

On May 19, Heritage Auctions, located at 445 Park Avenue, will host the “HeritageNow” event. The auction will feature items like Frank Miller’s original cover for The Dark Knight Returns Book One, which has never been auctioned before; Captain Enola Gay Robert Lewis’ contemporary first-hand account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; a manuscript by Mozart from the Marriage of Figaro; and other iconic and major moments in American and world history. As part of the exhibit, Heritage has included the cover art painting Riskie Forever.

The Don Killuminati is, of course, now considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, and its cover art by Riskie is no less of a masterpiece – a true collaboration between two geniuses that culminated to one of the most indelible images in music and popular culture,” said Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena. “It’s one of the few album covers ever created that deserved critical discussion – there are so many theories behind its meaning – and it’s an honor and a pleasure to offer it not just as a piece of music history, but as a true work of American art.”

Riskie sold the original physical artwork he made in 1996 for The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory album cover to a longtime fan in 2015. However, in 2021, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the publication of the posthumous album, Zelus assisted Riskie Forever in the recovery of the artwork. Tupac was introduced to Riskie by Suge Knight, and after seeing Riskie’s portfolio, Tupac insisted that his record label pay him to create an image of Tupac crucified on a cross, just like Jesus, with a crown of thorns. Tupac saw the artwork just days before his sad demise.

“I remember officially giving the painting to Pac, I knew then it was something special,” Riskie Forever said. “Now to be able to celebrate that heritage while creating something truly new and unique – that’s something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.”


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