Black Dave is a Charleston, South Carolina-based freelance creative, recording artist, visual artist, and producer/engineer focusing on traditional and non-traditional means of promoting his products. Having established himself on/off the Blockchain and through the NFT space, Dave is a multidisciplinary creative, citing anime, rap, hardcore rock, streetwear, & sneaker culture as his influences.


How do you define yourself as an artist?  Do you differentiate how you see yourself and your art inside and outside the NFT space? 

Lately, the way I define or introduce myself is by saying, “Hey, I’m Black Dave, and I’m an overall creative person.” I was on an episode of the podcast, An Untold Narrative with David Filar and we were talking about how we’re in the “slash generation” where everyone does multiple things and has no clear one-skill definition of themselves. I feel like I live in that. The types of people I look up to, like Pharrell and Kanye and Virgil Abloh and Childish Gambino, have always been fighting to be outside of the box they put them in, and they do great things if you let them work outside of it. I’ve been a photographer since 2012, and I’ve also worked in music, design, video/film, and a bunch of other random and interesting things. Whatever I think is cool, I just try to learn how to do it. 


Your music is unique in that you rap about other art forms such as Anime. Can you speak to your inspiration to specifically reference Anime in your music? 


To me, there’s sort of a requirement to rap in an authentic way or at least a way that appears authentic. So when I think about music, I try to just think about the things that inspire me or what I like. I think lots of artists try to rap about things they think other people resonate with —  and the success of it sort of lies on if they were convincing or not, but if I just go with what I know, I can’t be found out at a fake, because I’m about the culture that I talk about.



You started a newsletter called The Black Dave Report. Your newsletters are very vulnerable and diaristic. What motivated you to share these private thoughts and musings?


My “blogging” journey or whatever started all the way back with a live journal and Blogspot. I used to think I was pretty funny, so I would write these somewhat comedic blog posts intended to help me pick up girls. People who read what I wrote said that I write just like I talk, which I guess isn’t how most people write…? I considered that a compliment and just would randomly write about whatever was on my mind. I started a substack blog, which is where The Black Dave Report is hosted, long before getting into NFTs, but I shifted to that topic once I realized that people cared about what I had to say in the space. I’ve been enjoying myself, and I believe being open and honest is the key to success, so I try to do that as much as possible.


Speaking as both a rapper and a visual content creator, what do you think about the words “utility” and “value” concerning NFTs? 


Utility is a current NFT buzzword. The thing I hate about buzzwords is that they are often super important, but everyone runs it to the ground and ruins it. I try to think a lot more about the “intended effect” as opposed to utility in the way many have been so far. I ask myself, “what’s the intended effect here?” So I can create with that in mind. Sometimes the intended effect is to hold a high secondary value. Sometimes the intended effect is entertaining, and that’s it. Sometimes the intended effect is to build community or provide identity or attendance to an event or whatever. We get so wrapped up in token-related mechanics and calling that utility, but the utility can be so many things, and you can make something that does nothing but looks cool.


You started the Black Dave discord? What do you feel this provides/can provide your community of followers? 


The discord channel was actually something I had planned on doing long before NFTs when I was just trying to make beats on twitch and convince people to watch me do that. My NFT journey ended up surpassing my twitch journey, plus a few other hiccups on the twitch side, but NFTs breathed a new life into my discord. The main goal in my discord is to provide space for 2 types of people: the people who support me financially and the people who like what I like. My whole goal with the Black Dave brand, especially in NFT, is to make something that symbolizes what “cool” is and what people will want to watch for as a source of trend and taste in the space. I imagine a space filled with great taste in either anime, music, art or fashion. Right now, we’re still very early despite having about 150 people in the channel so far, but my goal is just to have a really chill spot where you not only are supporting me, but we’re doing for each other. My favourite channel in my server is the #mental-health one because I feel like we can just talk through things and connect more there, as people, not as artists or entities or avatars or any of that. I’ll also be airdropping people shit. NFTs. My social token is $BLKPRTY. Other random currencies. I’m gearing up for anime and movie nights, as well as DJ sets from myself and the homies. Join up if you’re into it!


Tell us about your recent NFT drop! 


My latest drop is my second music drop in the NFT space. I’ve done a few other things to warm up, but music is my ultimate goal. I’ve been exploring what being a musical artist can look like in this space, and this is my next attempt at that. With this drop, I released 2 songs, each in a limited run of 25 editions. One song is an upbeat, on-brand song called “Kaioken 10,” and the second is a lyrical exercise over a throwback sample called “Appreciate it.” I took the approach of releasing a pair of different songs because the centerpiece of this release is an auction for a token that represents receiving a rap verse from me. In my exploration of what sustainability looks like, I think being able to receive a bit of support upfront to grow and increase in value with an offering of something on a future date is a possible solution. Trying to think about this in a way that avoids the whole securities conversation and making sure that the people who support me on my path have no ownership or decision-making power is super important to me. Also of note, I’m continuing my series, Manga Tears, which I think of as a curation of how manga represents different types of emotions and a new series of 3D works I’ve created called “Isolation.” If you collect any visual NFTs, they come with downloads for both songs as unlockable content.


In your latest drop, “Kaioken 10″ and “Appreciate It” two rap tracks make references to the NFT space in the lyrics and feel sonically influenced by metal and other musical genres. So how did you arrive here artistically? 


My personal musical journey starts in middle school, where I was initially introduced to the Wu-Tang Clan — my first album I bought of my own accord was Wu-Tang Forever, the double-disc. I got into nu-metal and pop-punk and bands like Linkin Park and your common warped tour bands as well around the same time, so I was digging into both at once. I also used to do this thing where I would buy CDs based solely on their cover art, so I ended up getting lightly into electronic music, but chill stuff. Thievery Corporation and M83 and stuff. I joined my first punk band in high school, playing bass guitar, and got into music production. I worked on an electronic music project with a friend called Robo Reptar that evolved into a full-on band before I settled into my last band from 2008-2013ish called EVA. Afterward, I started rapping more formally. All of these influences informed the style of music I make now, as well as being into anime for the last 20+ years. I’m sort of thankful that most of my musical taste came from my own decision-making and not that of my parents…you can catch me sometimes even saying that I don’t listen to music that’s older than I am, and honestly, there’s very little I listen to.



To learn more about Black Dave, check out his NFTs on OpenSea, visit his website and follow him online:







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There is no real blockchain-based competition to current music industry giants such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. The so-called democratization of the music business that the internet and MP3 technology promised at the turn of the century has, predictably, failed to materialize. intends to change all of that.

“I saw contracts in the music industry that paid the artist almost nothing for their work and then took their art away from them. The musicians literally never owned the music they made. It was disgusting.” – Russ Franklin, co-founder of Amplify Art

Built on the Near Protocol, a blockchain that uses Aurora, an Ethereum Virtual Machine, they intend to be a scalable and future-safe platform with low transaction costs for their end-users. is a new music site based on Non Fungible Tokens. And they just launched the beta version of their website on July 12th. The site allows artists to mint NFT’s and enables fans to trade them on a secondary market or retain possession of their NFTs and accrue a wide range of benefits.

Photo by Davis Sanchez from Pexels


“NFT’s enable all sorts of cool ways for artists to reward their fans through airdrops, exclusive access, and of course true ownership of the music and its income streams. The beauty is that whatever benefits the NFT holds, it is always under the artist’s control.” –

Music on the blockchain is in its infancy. Many projects are poised to capitalize on the push for decentralized finance and community building; not many are using music as the tip of their spear to attack the problem. What that means for an artist and the benefits of being active on a music platform that is decentralized remain to be seen. But in the era of de-platforming and demonetization that we find ourselves in, the arguments for blockchain native music platforms are getting louder and more robust. 


“Decentralized means that no one person or entity- like a corporation – controls the platform. So no one can take it away from you, not even me.” – Russ Franklin

The twin problems of any music enterprise in the information age are mass adoption and scalability. While the blockchain is and will continue to be revolutionary, these are issues that they have failed to effectively address. Though there are many layer 2 solutions for artists to the exorbitant gas fees incurred on the Ethereum blockchain, they appear to not only be viable but ready to begin implementation. Unfortunately, while  is one of them, they have yet to hold the attention of the larger crypto community.

Photo by Vishnu R Nair from Pexels


Music on the Blockchain itself may be new, but the lessons that musicians can learn from each other as the current NFT market expands are many, from mind-warping projects from established artists like @BT to the lesser-known artists such as @callmeLatasha

Today’s NFT market has shown that those who can cultivate their fan base and engage with them on a personal level will be able to drive sales to their projects even in a down market. As a result, the platform that can deliver authentic experiences that build community and leverage the power of the “super-stan” will continue to dominate now and for the foreseeable future.

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The use of NFTs as futuristic sales tags that automate complex processes is growing not just for physical items but also for more abstract entities such as royalty streams. While this shift may seem to be another logical use of NFTs, taking advantage of blockchains as open ledgers. It will also bring the issues accountants encounter in other fields to the shores of NFT Land. In the case of A Tribe Called Quest, what at first looked like a basic false claim appears to be a legitimate claim to long-forgotten royalty rights that simply caught the artist by surprise. Unfortunately, the resulting headlines will likely increase the growing mental connection between NFTs, and digital crime.


Though NFTs have many possible use cases, art and media ownership has received the most attention to date. However, using an NFT for a transaction that not only reassigns royalty rights but provides data for automated distribution of a percentage of those rights at a later date is one of the more widespread use cases currently under development. In the example of music royalties, companies such as Royalty Exchange have been exploring the concept of auctioning music rights for many years, before the popularization of NFTs. Thus, they are well-positioned to develop related NFT use.


At the end of June, news spread that Royalty Exchange’s new NFT program was being used to sell a percentage of the rights to early albums from legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Within less than a week, the rights sold, A Tribe Called Quest denied the validity of the sale and then, after sorting out the situation, explained the backstory. Definitely worth a read in that it gives one a bit more insight into some of the peculiar arrangements that occur in the music industry, causing problems years later. In this case, the rights ownership appears legit, and the NFT listing is still live on Royalty Exchange’s site. 


Another situation giving outsiders a look at the twisted world of music industry deals and disputes as intensified (or illuminated) by NFTs involves the 25th anniversary of Jay-Z’s iconic hip hop album “Reasonable Doubt.” A confusing lawsuit regarding Dame Dash’s activities around a different “Reasonable Doubt” NFT continues to twist and turn with an official Jay-Z directed NFT now in the mix. Note that a related lawsuit involving the original album cover photographer does not involve NFTs and one begins to realize that NFTs may not be the problem here.


Ntfs indeed offer quicker resolutions to processes which can also benefit scammers desiring a quick exit. But a certain amount of what NFTfi news hits the press in the coming months and years will be the direct result of NFT and blockchain tech bringing industry-specific issues into the light. Unfortunately, the juxtaposition of “NFT” and “lawsuit” in headlines may cause general readers to assume that the NFTs were part of the problem. When, in fact, they actually may reveal and address issues with already existing standard industry procedures. As difficult as it will be for some to understand, NFTs may not just reveal such problems but sometimes offer solutions as well.

Featured Image Courtesy Vevo


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From revolutionary outsider to an entrenched gatekeeper, Jay-Z enters the NFT space like a whale in a Bodega. Litigation, speculation, and recriminations abound as the 25th anniversary of his breakout album Reasonable Doubt rolls around—the leading players involved in the project attempt to reap the whirlwind that is the NFT market today.


There were two NFT offerings slated to celebrate the 25 anniversary of Mr. Carter’s seminal work. Still, earlier this week, a judge halted Damon Dash’s proposed auction of his version of a Commemorative NFT, the specifics of which still remain cloudy. The optics of competing  NFT’s from rival owners of the same intellectual property were enough to set the Twitterverse aflame with wild speculation and lukewarm hot takes.


Reasonable Doubt Image from


HOV is most assuredly a zealous protector of the image and reputation that he’s built up over decades of dominating pop culture. And clearly has no problem using the courts to his advantage. The lessons those of us studying the space are learning by watching the things that he’s been able to block from being minted, and the other moves made in the space are invaluable to us as early adopters.


After a lifetime of setting trends, he seems to be playing catchup and overcompensating to the casual observer. Though that belies the fact that with Tidal and Twitter firmly in his corner, Jigga has unparalleled insight into the culture as an aggregate, even if he does seem to be missing some of the finer nuances of the crypto and NFT space as evidenced by changing his avatar to a cryptopunk like this was 2017. Ya gotta get a Bored Ape fam?


Jay Z and Jack Dorsey
Greg Allen/Invision/AP (Jay-Z); AP (Dorsey)


But I digress. lol, the scope of Jay’s influence on the culture can not be overstated. The millions of people discovering NFT’s and crypto due to Jay-Z minting a one-of-one NFT will only lead to a fresh wave of newly minted crypto enthusiasts and NFT noobs. Without a doubt, it would have been better for those of us native to the space if he would have descended onto one of the platforms that could act as a larger onramp to the space than a Sotheby’s, which is the definition of exclusive, and by design seeks to limit the number of people who participate in their auctions. However, access appears to be a blindspot that executive HOV has, which may have developed from having very few doors closed to him. A recent twitter spaces event held by Jack Dorsey with independent artists featured on the Tidal Platform had a lack of access as a recurring theme, from playlist generation to fan engagements. The problems that up and coming artists are facing today no longer seem to be high on the priority list.

I started writing this before a lot of legal issues went down.  In light of all that has happened since– lookout for a follow-up/update article from me next week.

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Most would agree that music is an important part of the human experience, and we are all wondering what role NFTs will play in the industry. Frequency and rhythm make up our lives as individuals. Every breath we take is a metronome to our thoughts and movements. Our inner rhythms have all been shaken with the pandemic, but issues within the music industry have been brewing for much longer than that. Some believe that NFTs may be the remedy. 

That shared energetic communication is now going to be incorporated into the metaverse. A new green platform has been created to offer musicians of all levels a place to be seen and heard, while also supporting the causes and initiatives that are important to them.  It’s also perfect for the fan bases, as they will be able to connect to their favorite artists regardless of their location or status. With the importance of genres and job titles fading, the music industry has figured out a way to make the system breathe again in an inclusive, sustainable fashion. 


Quincy Jones and a very powerful group including Adam Fell, Joshua James, and tech entrepreneur Lyn Dae are the founders of OneOf. These powerhouses have curated a proof of work protocol that is efficient while emphasizing the importance of protecting our environment. While traditional proof of work protocols aren’t necessarily unsustainable, this boasts being 2 million times more efficient than Ethereum platforms. Hopefully, this gives new body and breath to the music industry through NFTs, which will augment what music can be and establish a new structure that can regenerate the industry. With top artists already on board and ready to share themselves in a new way, a much-needed revolution is forthcoming.

Dae’s background as an early investor in Zoom, and Jones’s timeless legacy as a godfather of the modern-day music industry, are a perfect pairing for this project. Their focus will be on creating freedom for any musician to share music on their own terms while utilizing a swift eco-friendly cryptocurrency.  As an added bonus, there will be no minting or gas fees for creating NFTs on this platform. 

“The artist can sell NFTs at any price… one NFT for a million dollars or a million NFTs for one dollar.” Oneof will also offer a team of marketing strategists for new artists, which is incredible. This will heal so many voices and expressions that have been suppressed for so long in the collective consciousness. OneOf offers a place for beginners to come together with established artists and have easy access to their same network. There are limitless opportunities for personal promotion, and fan base participation. As well as options for exclusive content allowing for a more tailored experience. Quincy Jones has also incorporated a way for a percentage of the sales to go to various causes, putting emphasis on the artist’s social and environmental responsibilities and contributions. 


Each time an NFT is resold, the artist will receive royalties, even on secondary sales. Jones is granting the wish of anyone who wants a chance to be a musician, skipping the legal processes that often cause songs to become lost in translation. This will likely awaken an infinite fan base, emboldened by the freedom for an artist to market and display themselves as they see fit. Jones will also be minting NFTs from his phenomenal personal catalogue. Unknown artists will have hope that they can leverage the same power of NFTs without the usual gatekeepers closing them out, and without exorbitant fees.

Oneof will be fantastic for recording artists, enabling limitless navigation of NFTs where value can be decided by the creator and the collector, with no authenticity lost. It will also be an amazing platform for fans with the thrill of personal social-media(esque) content that connects them to their favourite musicians. Oneof appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel and has the potential to be the most authentic way music has ever lived thus far.

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