By Rob Markman
The most memorable moment in Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2011 video for “Otis” found the two rap stars taking a chainsaw to a $350,000 Maybach, and even without doors the car was still a hot ticket at a recent auction. The hacked up Maybach recently sold for $60,000 at Phillips de Pury & Company’s New York Contemporary Art Evening Auction.
The gaudy chop-shop display wasn’t for naught as the proceeds of the sale will go to Save the Children, an organization that fights battles on behalf of children around the world.
“Jay-Z and Kanye West are towering figures in contemporary culture. They have greatly contributed to the artificial barriers between art, music, fashion and cinema to come down,” Simon de Pury, chairman of Phillips de Pury and Company, said in a press release. “Their video for ‘Otis’ became an instant classic. The Maybach they have transformed for it has the starring role.”
DUB magazine president and co-founder Myles Kovacs estimated that the custom job cost the Throne around $150,000, but by removing the vehicle’s doors, cutting off the roof and switching the bumper and grill, Hov and Yeezy dramatically lowered the value of the car. “The thing is, the value of that car is nothing now, you couldn’t drive it on the street,” he said in an August 2011 MTV News interview. “It would start malfunctioning big time.”
If you think of the “Otis” Maybach as a piece of art rather than a fully functioning car, then the $60,000 auction fetch makes more sense. If you consider where the money will be donated, then it’s a huge win. “The funds raised from auctioning off the ‘Otis’ car are greatly needed to help sustain families [in East Africa] over the next several months,” Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles said in the press release. “We are grateful to Jay-Z and Kanye West for offering up pop culture history to do good for children in Africa.”