Kanye West album signed "F--K ADIDAS" up for auction

Album carries a minimum bid of $250,000, symbolizes split between rapper and shoe giant

Cover Image for Kanye West album signed "F--K ADIDAS" up for auction
The autographed album is being consigned by a French mega-fan of Kanye West. (Credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

A Kanye West album signed “F--K ADIDAS” is up for auction at Gotta Have Rock and Roll, with an eye-popping starting bid of $250,000.

The album might be the most perfect symbol of the artist’s tumultuous and controversial public persona in recent years, capturing the fiery break-up between West and adidas, which cut ties with the rapper in 2022 following an outpouring of offensive comments and behavior.

The signed album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” carries an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.

Why so high?

The consigner allegedly turned down a $200,000 offer prior to sending it to auction, according to Gotta Have Rock and Roll CEO Dylan Kosinski, whose auction house is handling the sale as part of its “The Hip-Hop Auction Summer 2024” offering.

Though it isn’t exactly shocking to see West would have inscribed the epithet on an album, the public nature of the signing is certainly unique — as the whole thing was filmed and posted on YouTube earlier this year.

The consigner, a French mega-fan of West, claims not a day has gone by in the last 20 years in which he hasn’t listened to West’s music. For more than a decade, it has been his wish to get a picture with his “idol,” according to a backstory published on the Moments in Time website, which is helping facilitate the sale.

“Whenever he was in Paris, I spent whole days wandering and waiting in front of the hotels, restaurants, stores or fashion week shows he used to frequent. But each time it was a failure,” the consignor wrote.

After hearing there would be a listening party in Paris in February 2024, he brought his vinyl album and waited for 10 hours outside West’s hotel.

“I returned home unhappy, tired and exhausted, my dream once again unfulfilled." The next day, seeing West was still in Paris, he made another attempt to meet his hero.

“That’s when YE comes out with his wife, Bianca, and everyone’s shouting, 'F--- adidas.' I tried to make my way over to get him to sign my vinyl but I’m blocked by security, and he goes back into the van,” the consignor wrote. “At that moment my dream had just been shattered, when suddenly he emerges, asks the crowd to shout 'F--k adidas' even louder, and as if by magic, I find myself all alone, face to face with my idol.”

Finally, his wish was granted.

“He takes the marker and signs 'F--K ADIDAS YE.' It was an incredible moment.”

Kosinski believes the poignance of the item is almost akin to an art piece.

“It kind of shows you that at the time where Kanye West, once considered a God amongst rappers, is now this incredibly controversial figure who is having this real trouble,” Kosinski said. “It's a very unique and controversial item, and people like that.”

As for the estimate, which would make it one of the most expensive albums ever sold, Kosinski says due to the unique nature of the item, it’s difficult to value.

The auction is filled with items relating to artists such as Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z.

A particularly rare piece is a Notorious B.I.G. Signed “Ready to Die” Album (estimate: $20,000 to $30,000), one of only a handful believed to exist, as it was the only studio album released during his lifetime.

Kosinski sees hip-hop-focused auctions like these as an opportunity to serve a growing and underserved segment of the collectible market for the auction house, which is more widely known for dealing in rock music.

In addition to the West-signed album, another controversial piece in the auction is Tupac’s Prison ID card from his time at Clinton Correctional Facility after facing sexual abuse charges.

The controversy is just another facet of the intrigue to Kosinski.

“All these influential people who have made an impact on the world in a positive or negative light are collectible, and even low points in their lives are still part of their story,” Kosinski said. “The truth is, people love controversy.”

Will Stern is a reporter snd editor for cllct.