The rapper and actor talks about his plans for music NFTs and how the tech can disrupt the entertainment industry.
Across 35 years in the entertainment business, Ice Cube has been involved in a wide array of creative projects, including numerous albums, dozens of films, TV shows, and more—even his own 3-on-3 professional basketball league, the BIG3.
“I’ve had to go through the system my whole career. The studio systems, radio—you know, gatekeepers that’s been in place,” said Ice Cube. “We produce a lot of good stuff, but what keeps me up at night is the things that we don’t get made—the good projects that we don’t get financed.”
That’s why Ice Cube is so excited about NFTs. An NFT works like a blockchain-backed deed of ownership to a digital item. While it can be used for things like social media avatars and sports collectibles, NFTs can also be tapped to fund independent projects, cultivate communities around a shared purpose, and give fans a stake in the success of creative endeavors.
“If the people want it, you can make it happen,” Ice Cube said of NFTs. “It’s the ultimate ‘fuck you’ to the mainstream programmers of the world, and it gives the power to the people.”
“If you know anything about me, I love that,” he continued. “I love the fact that now you’ve got studio execs pulling their hair out because creative people are gonna be going to the crypto world, you know what I’m saying? Going to the NFT world, blockchains, DAO systems. It’s just gonna be great for creators, and great for people who love good entertainment.”
Ice Cube spoke with Decrypt as his BIG3 league announced plans to decentralize team ownership by offering stakes in its 12 current teams in the form of Ethereum NFT collectibles. BIG3 will offer benefits to NFT holders such as entry to games and other real-world experiences, voting on team decisions, and even IP rights to create team merchandise.
Asked if he holds any cryptocurrency, Ice Cube told Decrypt that he’s acquired “a little bit here and there,” but that he’s still “getting his feet wet.” Ice Cube explained that he always seeks a strong understanding of a new space before truly digging in.
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