The Celebrity NFT Craze Continues
The NFT market is picking up steam as we speak
Eminem announced that he would be releasing his first NFT dubbed “Shady Con” this Sunday. The NFT would feature what he terms as “collectibles,” including action figures and original instrumental beats produced for this launch itself. Doja Cat also announced that she would be dropping her own NFT collection on Juicy Drop as the platform’s first artist-led launch. Emily Ratakjowski also unveiled that she would be auctioning an NFT of her image titled “Buying Myself Back” through Christie’s.
In a step toward my ongoing effort to reclaim and control my image, I’m thrilled to announce my first conceptual artwork to ever come to market, an NFT entitled Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution.
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) April 23, 2021
You may be wondering how we got here. It’s the celebrity craze over the Non-Fungible Token market that has taken us to these heights.
For the uninitiated, NFTs are digital assets on the blockchain market that you can purchase and obtain certificates of ownership for (learn more about it here). They’ve been around since the 2010s but blew up in March, being on a constant rise since then.
But what’s really taken the market by storm is the influx of NFTs being sold by celebrities. Several have already made figures in the six and seven digits, including the Weeknd, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Halsey, Grimes, A$AP Rocky, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Ja Rule, and William Shatner, among many others. Eminem, Doja, and Ratajkowski join the lineup with their own drops right in the peak of NFT season. Most of them (like Slim Shady’s this Sunday) make their way onto Nifty Gateway, a popular NFT marketplace.
Why are celebrities so enthused about the token game? A lot of it capitalizes on the growing fascination with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, which largely fund the NFT industry. As more and more people find it easier to access cryptocurrency and trade with it (with Venmo opening their doors to it earlier this week), they’re willing to explore the lengths of crypto trade, and NFTs are a safe way to engage in it.
A lot of it, however, also comes down to the mere commodification of art and freedom of expression. An NFT could be anything from a full-fledged album (like Kings of Leon did) or a piece of art to a color or tweet. Celebrities are, generally, on the artwork side of things, preferring to sell material of actual value rather than something that doesn’t hold any value beyond being memorabilia. It’s a way for them to command value over the art they create and form their own marketplaces for them, also expanding their range beyond their chosen career, like Grimes’ choice to sell her paintings. And it gives them the right to filter whatever form of their creativity is sold to the people.
Also, in a time with limited opportunities for earning income through traditional means, such as touring and booked jobs, this is a safer option for artists to earn income that they have complete control over, as Ratajkowski explained when announcing her NFT.
If the Real Slim Shady or Planet Doja or Emrata speak to your soul, then so might their NFTs.