Reggae artist Buju Banton has become one of first Jamaican artists to mint a Non-fungible token (NFT) on the OpenSea Marketplace.
Banton has teamed up with CrimsonTide Ltd. to create a collection of original NFT art pieces that will come in digital and autographed canvas pieces. In a release, he said that his fans will not only be able to possess this original piece, but they will benefit economically once the pieces grow in value.
“The intention is to provide fans with a rare 1 of 1 digital Buju Banton asset/collectible, which can grow in value, creating an economical opportunity for NFT holders. We have to keep up with the technological advancements of our times or get left behind…embrace the space, pure love,” Banton said.
An NFT (Non Fungible Token) is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items, and videos. These digital assets are bought and sold online, often with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos.
Fans will be able to purchase a digital copy of the installation as an NFT, which includes digital artwork designs of well-known Buju Banton portraits, programable features and unlockable content for the NFT owners to enjoy. The digital works sold as NFTs can still be copied and shared themselves, but ownership of a token is unique. Think of it as something like a copy of a popular book autographed by the author; there are lots of copies of the book and more can easily be made, but the NFT version is one of kind.
Anu El the C.E.O. of CrimsonTide has been working to help others build their own projects on blockchain. “CrimsonTide wants to be ‘the concierge’ to the web 3.0 experience for Jamaican artist and musicians. Our company and team have the time, skill set and knowledge to engage the NFT community and develop product-to market strategies consistent with the values of the community,” he said.
Meanwhile, crytorastas creator Marcus Menezes says he’s very pleased with the growth and expansion of reggae NFTs. Though he is not responsible for creating Buju’s NFT, he is happy that he might have inspired it.
“I’m very happy to see the popularity of reggae NFTs. It shows that it’s growing,” he told DancehallMag.
When he launched cryptorastas in August, he said it was because the NFT market did not have any reggae element to it. As a fan of the genre, he thought it was only fair to pay homage to some of his favourite acts, with their permission.
“When I did my research, nobody had done anything about reggae. So I thought, maybe this would he something good for the culture,” added Menezes who is also the founder of Brazilian record sound system Digital Dubs.
“When I realized that this project could be big, I felt it should be a collective initiative. The music business is often unfair to artists, especially in scenes like reggae music. These legends have classics playing to this day, and because of abusive contracts they don’t get a penny. With this collaboration, we are trying to honor our legends, rewarding them for their years of dedication and encouraging today’s artists to enter this new economy,” he continued.
Menezes has created NFTs for Lee “Scratch” Perry, Sugar Minott, Kabaka Pyramid, Sly & Robbie, Jah9, Jesse Royal, Bushman, Yaadcore, Ranking Joe, Michah Shemaiah, Winston McAnuff and Suns of Dub.
On Sunday, he launched a limited brand new auction in collaboration with reggae artists and celebrities which quickly sold out on Opeansea with a total of 17.0049ETH in sales. Breaking digital barriers and connecting the reggae community to the NFT economy, Cryptorastas has sold 10,220 unique avatars of generative art.
Cryptorastas collectors can reap the exclusive benefits of limited edition products such as merchandise drops, festival and party tickets, and special experiences via the blockchain. There will also be access to the Cryptorastas space in the metaverse where events and exhibitions will take place and Cryptorastas owners can exhibit their own artworks.
ETH is the digital currency that fuels transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. From a digital currency exchange like Coinbase, investors will need ETH to purchase an NFT, and for gas fees to complete transactions.
To date, Menezes’ collection has moved 700 ETH and he has four super rare Cryptorastas on the blockchain: Rasta Lion, Rasta Cranium, Alien Rasta and Golden Rasta, which has the highest sale to date via a second market trade at 13.42 ETH.