This past Friday, the rapper Rico Nasty announced her entry into the world of NFTs—non-fungible tokens, the blockchain-based digital collectibles that have been uniting art and crypto over the past few months.
Rico, known for her catchy hooks and aggressive flows, is auctioning off a looped video of a black-and-white hammer on the NFT marketplace SuperRare. It’s tied to “OHFR?,” a single from her recent album Nightmare Vacation, and was created by Don Allen III, an artist and animator who’s worked with in the past. The purchaser will also receive a physical version of the prop hammer from the song’s music video.
I’m dropping My First NFT with @donalleniii on @superrare.co !
On Monday March 22nd! This is inspired by the OHFR music video, only the first get the signed physical hammer from the music video!
to view the auction for the NFT click the link —-> https://t.co/7YlyAc84eT pic.twitter.com/x1CHnOyI7K
— TACOBELLA (@Rico_nastyy) March 20, 2021
Speaking exclusively with Decrypt, Rico said that she was excited about NFTs as a financial investment. “You could literally buy something and own it forever,” she explained. “It's like the new stock market, but for art. I might make $500 tonight, but two or three years from now, shit… I think that's what makes it hopeful.”
The market for NFTs has never been hotter, though it’s not clear if it will stay that way; these crypto collectibles have been around for years, but it’s only in the past few months that crypto millionaires have started snapping up GIFs and other image files at auction for millions of dollars.
The digital artist Beeple just sold an NFT for $69 million in a Christie’s auction. And musicians like Grimes, Kings of Leon, Yaeji, Toro Y Moi, Jacques Greene, and Mura Masa have all released NFTs in recent weeks.
But there’s been backlash, too, as critics target crypto art’s ecological footprint (the songwriter Jacob Collier recently canceled his NFT plans for that reason).
Rico told Decrypt she hadn’t heard about the controversy over the environmental impact of NFTs, but said it sounded “really fucked up.”
Rico and Don Allen III will be speaking about NFTs on Monday evening on Clubhouse.
“Like any new technology, it has an opportunity to be used for good and an opportunity to be used for evils,” Allen said. “My hope and expectation is that as more engineers see successful economies growing from crypto, it will inspire them to come into the space and innovate in the areas that need fixing.”
Rico concluded that progress tends to come with a price: “People said a lot of shit about cars using gas, and now we have electric ones… There's always going to be a bad side to everything. Nothing's perfect.”
She added: “The future is the future and—I hate to be so blunt, but: aren’t we all gonna die anyway?”