In late October, it was announced that the one-of-a-kind unreleased album of Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ was sold to the 74 member decentralized autonomous Organization (DAO) PleasrDAO. PleasrDAO purchased the only copy of the rap group’s album from the United States Federal Government for $4 million at the end of September, where it now lives in a secret vault in New York. PleasrDAO, who collectively owns the album, has since minted the ownership deed as an NFT, making it one of the most interesting and unique NFT ownerships of a rap album.
Album producer Cilvaringz responded with the hope that the album would “return [rap] music to the value of fine art — a mission finally possible in today’s environment, nearly a decade later with NFT technology and the ability to mint this album as a unique 1:1 original.”
The album was six years in the making before its release, and came as a response to the devaluation of music in the digital era. Indeed, with the adoption of NFTs, more and more rappers are recognizing NFTs as a way to secure ownership and preserve the value of music in the digital age. NFTs are slowly making headway in the music industry, with enthusiasm and a growing network within the rap music genre.
As more of the rap music industry finds its way into the world of NFTs, we can surely expect to see more artists using it as a medium for distribution and for connecting with their fans. Here are some of the NFTs that have been dropped by rappers over the past year:
1. Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg, one of the biggest names in rap music, announced that he was auctioning off his first NFT collection via crypto.com. The eight-piece art collection chronicles memorable and iconic moments of Snoop Dogg’s career. These NFTs included pieces titled ‘Young Snoop’, ‘Snoop Dogge Coins.’, and the more grimly titled ‘Death Row’.
2. Soulja Boy
Not necessarily an NFT that was tied to his music, Soulja boy tweeted on Mar 8 asking for help on how he could sell his tweet. After hundreds of replies, the rapper apparently sold that exact tweet as an NFT on the digital marketplace Valuables by Cent. He later sold four additional tweets as NFTs, all of which got snatched up within 3 hours.
6ix9ine has been in the media for a number of reasons, but on April 9, the rapper announced his plan to auction off custom artworks as NFTs. The NFTs include 3D-animated artwork with snippets of his hit songs playing in the background. While the pieces did not make headlines for their sale prices, the partnership with NFT platform Bondly Finance meant that by purchasing 6ix9ine’s NFT, you got $BONDLY tokens, which holds its own perks on the platform.
4. A$AP Rocky
A$AP Rocky is one of the most prominent rappers in the A$AP Mob from Harlem NY. On April 17, he dropped a teaser and promo video on Twitter, announcing his first foray into NFTs with a collection to be sold on Nifty Gateway. The collection consists of select snippets of his then-unreleased track “Sandman”. But the real takeaway from the drop was the raffle to win either one of the cars from A$AP Rocky’s Injured Generation Tour, or time with Rocky during a studio session. All you had to do to enter the raffle was to purchase one of his NFTs.
Probably a household name known throughout the world, the 48-year-old rapper Eminem, who has had an extensive rap career behind him, also jumped on the NFT bandwagon. His NFT collectibles were made exclusive to fans on Nifty Gateway on April 26. The collection auctioned was named “Shady Con”, and it included NFT action figures of the rapper from iconic moments in his career.