How musicians are discovering the Non-fungible Token (NFT) for themselves
He has collaborated with Kanye West, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, now brings a first – hyp-hop producer !Illmatic releases an NFT album.
Ramon Ibanga, better known as !Illmind, looks back on a successful career as a music producer that spans over three decades. He has produced tracks for famous hip-hop artists worldwide, which they then sold by the millions. Among the stars !Illmind has worked with: Kanye West, Dr.Dre, 50 Cent, Drake and J. Cole. In 2018, he won a Grammy Award for producing „Everything Is Love“ by Beyoncé and Jay-Z. His most recent hit? An NFT album.
Last Thursday, !Illmind released the world’s first musical work in the form of a non-fungible token. This is a Bitcoin Superstar collection of 10 melodic compositions, including various samples and loops by the artist. The NFT work is called ALORIUM and was auctioned on Mintable for 6,000 US dollars. On the Mintable marketplace, digital content on NFT is produced and offered for sale.
NFTs and copyright
!Illmind’s creation sparked a controversial discussion on Reddit about what owning NFT means for intellectual property and creators‘ rights.
Any melody composition in this package can be used and manipulated and then commercially published (royalty-free guarantee + contract included in the file).
Description of ALORIUM by !Illmind on mintable
The Ethereum-based token contains an exclusive link to which only the owner has access. This grants him the right to use the audio files for his own purposes, free from copyright restrictions. It comes with a contractually regulated „royalty-free guarantee“.
Until now, end consumers could buy and own a physical music album, or buy and download digital content. Nevertheless, copyrights have protected the works and the artist. With digital music in the form of NFT, completely new questions are raised from a legal perspective. This is because, in contrast to widespread subscription formats or downloads that only entitle users to play music, with NFT the buyers are also owners in all respects – the legal claims of the authors no longer apply and a regulatory framework does not yet exist.
However, this does not prevent many artists besides !Illmatic from entering these new NFT spheres.
Disruption of the music industry
Many well-known musicians have become enthusiastic about the unique tokens over the last year. Some of them have thus discovered a new way to distribute their art. This was the case with Canadian musician Grimes – the girlfriend of crypto enthusiast Elon Musk. She sold $5.8 million worth of NFT art in less than 20 minutes on Nifty Gateway. Other musicians such as Deadmau5 and Sutu released an NFT collaboration on WAX. In addition, Sean Lennon has used NFT to release productions in various media forms. He sold an NFT artwork for US$3,000 last December.
Linkin Park is also in on the action, having sold the music video of an upcoming song in NFT form via Zora. Zora is a marketplace for digital items that focuses on removing the influence of large corporations from the entertainment industry.