The legend of Biggie Smalls' belt

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Over two decades, none people were charged with keeping the belt safe.

I’m assuming that’s supposed to be nine.


It’s a piece of fake leather. If Biggie hadn’t died, that belt would have ended up in a landfill. I don’t understand obsessing over objects just because you know who owned them.

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Then clearly you didn’t read the (wonderful) article. Just because something doesn’t have monetary value doesn’t mean it doesn’t have sentimental or emotional value. Things matter – especially those with a story behind them.


My grandfather died in 1985, my mother hung onto his old Victrola until last year, finally asking me to find it a good home with someone who would use it. It traveled from Philly to Connecticut to Florida to Massachusetts, and it didn’t even work (the reproducer had gone missing in 1978).


The historical provenance of a material object can provide a communal focal point for that history, a shared point of reference. Hence museums which ultimately are full of things made from the same elements as the garbage consigned to landfills.


Just wondering, what did you think of the time that artist taped a banana to the wall?

Since the declaration of independence is online should we recycle the original?

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This is super important because whoever has it, as long as (s)he has right on his side (s)he can “whoop anyone’s ass with just that belt.”



As the writer herself says in the article, black folks often have incomplete histories and are unable to recall or retrace back their provenance. To her the belt mattered because it symbolized someone that directly inspired her career and life, same for most everyone else that looked after the belt. Physically the belt and most objects we give value to really mean nothing, that doesn’t make those objects worthless. If it means nothing to you then good for you, it’s not meant for you… don’t minimize other people’s shared experiences and histories


I’d feel honoured, and would add “Keeper of The Belt” to my CV.


I absolutely love Aliyah King’s story about Biggie’s belt. So awesome.

I read the article. It’s a good article. I appreciate the way you and everyone else is explaining (beltsplaining?) how nostalgia and cultural memory works. I just don’t have room in my life for useless objects whose only purpose is triggering memories. Take a picture of the belt, and share the story.

Yes, yes, I see, objects are assigned value by those people for whom they hold significance. Fascinating. The banana was worth $0.59, or whatever the artist paid for it, and sure, once we have a high-quality digital scan of the Declaration, pulp it. The importance of the object does not disappear with the object.

Hey, you do you. That doesn’t make it wrong for others to feel different about memorabilia. It sure read to me like you were shitting on the whole notion of it.


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