The music industry has had a hard hit for the past two years. The global pandemic crippled many artists in the industry causing massive setbacks in both the culture and the overall influence of music as an entertainment.
With no concerts allowed since the first wave, it is only recently that some countries lifted the social restriction and opened the path for artists and singers to perform again.
During those “hiatus”, many artists race towards finding a solution to stay on their feet. People are desperate to once again feel the euphoria of live concerts and music festivals.
One of the highly established rappers, Tory Lanez, has managed to break the industry out of misery by creating the first NFT album. Partnering with a digital platform called E-NFT, Tory released an album entitled “When It’s Dark”. Thanks to this technology, his album can be converted into an NFT (Non-Fungible Token). This so-called “token” will be a unique one-of-a-kind key for the album itself, effectively creating a fool-proof ledger of ownership to anyone who buys it. Now, the beauty behind it is that the value of this NFT comes from their verifiable scarcity. Means, it will counteract piracy, which is a long battle still for artists.
On the subject of the music itself, this particular album is kind of a miss, considering the former albums by Tory racking up hundreds of millions of views across all platforms like Youtub, Spotify, Apple Music etc. Some of his most popular albums are Playboy, Chixtape 5, Daystar and Love Me Now. For this, he is dubbed as the most versatile rapper by some, as he has many styles and genres and is not afraid to switch in between and explore further.
The album features 7 song titles which are Big Dog, Neighborhood Hero, Honest, Not Going Back, X2, Brazy Ness and Nobody, with the first two being the more popular streams. The NFT itself is not just for the songs, but rather the whole album in general, especially includes the artworks of each song.
The way it works is that, by having the token, people will be assigned as the official owner of each copy of the album. Even if someone did manage to copy the digital file, the blockchain technology embedded in NFT will certify its origin. This means that loyal fans will now be able to fully appreciate the value of the artwork, enabling artists to better monetize their hard work, and also most importantly make the music industry rolling again.
Now, this technology also brings another side of NFT. When we are talking about NFT as an album, it does not differ too much from their former counterparts such as paintings, drawing and any other NTF-imbued artworks. Meaning, people can use it for transactional purposes to gain profit. Tory Lanez’s album does not have a high stakes for the buyer as it sold for just $1 upon its release.
Regardless of the price, Tory Lanez’s style of promotion does help out a lot and manages to sell out every copy of the album almost instantly. Now, when we look at the E-NFT’s listings for When It’s Dark, it shows thousands of available NFTs for anywhere from $10 to up to a ridiculous $60,000.
This brings a controversy on itself, and some can argue that profiting over things like this are considered borderline money laundry. To some extent, it’s true, but what’s more important is that improvement matters. Whatever the case may be, the benefits of latest tech adoption will outweigh the disadvantages in the long run. Although it is too early to say this, we might see similar albums from other artists in the future.