Customers have complained that the Canadian rapper misled them with his NFT-exclusive album “When It’s Dark.”
Since Bitcoin’s rise to prominence in 2017 and subsequent explosion to over $40,000 a coin in 2021, the idea of cryptocurrencies has become more and more normalized. From cryptocurrency mainstays like Ethereum to the flash in the pan that was DogeCoin, a whole spectrum based on blockchain technology has emerged, and as time has passed, it has attracted a broader audience.
And to appeal to that broad audience, blockchain technology has been used in a variety of ways, both to show seemingly endless possibilities and to give insight into what the future of production and consumption might look like.
Arguably the best example of this futuristic vision of production and consumption is NFTs.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are best described as unique identifiers that are recorded on a blockchain and ensure that any digital assets they are attached to cannot be “copied, substituted, or subdivided.” Like a serial number on a baseball card, an NFT guarantees that any digital asset it is attached to is authentically what it is supposed to be and is also a 100% guaranteed identifier of that asset’s scarcity.
Because many NFTs mean scarcity, the value of certain NFTs can be astronomical, and with the explosion in popularity of the technology, more and more people have jumped headfirst into buying and selling non-fungible tokens. And, due to the astronomical values and price tags of some NFTs, more and more rich, famous and powerful people have been jumping into the blockchain-protected world.
Among those rich, famous and powerful people there have been many rappers and rap game affiliates.
The NFT for the cover of Jay-Z’s debut album, Reasonable Doubt, was auctioned for $138,600. Method Man launched a series of NFT comics. Eminem launched NFT and invested in an NFT startup called “MakersSpace”. Nas and Pusha T invested in a streaming platform based on the same blockchain technology that gave birth to NFTs, and most recently, the legendary Snoop Dogg revealed that he had been running an influential NFT Twitter account and partnered with the Ethereum-based video game “The Sandbox”. for a new NFT.
The rap game and NFTs have taken to each other like peanut butter and jelly, and this August, Toronto rapper Tory Lanez tried her hand at using the technology.
In the wake of charges of felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm and carrying an unregistered loaded firearm in a vehicle stemming from the Megan Thee Stallion case, Lanez followed up his 2020 release, Daystar, with When It’s Dark. , an exclusive album from NFT. fans could shop at E-NFT, an NFT marketplace.
When releasing When It’s Dark as an NFT, “the idea was that each copy of the album would be minted with a unique token, providing an infallible ledger of ownership,” Rolling Stone reported. “The value of NFTs comes from their verifiable scarcity… Similarly, the idea was that Lanez’s NFT album would increase in value once it became available for resale on the E-NFT marketplace.”
Following the release of When It’s Dark, Lanez, who was reportedly an early shareholder in Emmersive Entertainment, the company behind E-NFT, the “SKAT” rapper immediately took to Twitter and said that the NFT album had sold ” a million copies in less than a minute and that one of his NFTs had already sold for $50,000.”
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support Lanez’s claim.
In an in-depth investigation of When It’s Dark and all the question marks surrounding it, a new report from Rolling Stone has revealed a series of issues consumers faced when trying to buy the record, while trying to sell NFT copies of it. registry, and by trying to remove the NFT copies of the registry in their personal collections. The music post also went a step further, delving into the potentially fraudulent promotion Lanez was involved in and why some simple social media posts could be considered flawed investment advice.
Shortly after the release of When It’s Dark and the supposed success, fans began to have problems with the market for E-NFT and the album itself. An NFT artist named Frag said that he bought 10 copies of the album for $10 during the project’s pre-sale window, but that E-NFT crashed as soon as the market opened and didn’t come back online for more than 24 hours.
Frag took to Twitter to share his concerns about the NFT, its trading process, and a series of unexplained fees. He eventually landed in a back and forth with Lanez, which ended with the rapper calling him a clown.
In another case of suspicious activity surrounding When It’s Dark, a co-owner of New York-based NFT agency Third Planet Studio also bought 10 copies of the album for $1 each. Not necessarily interested in the album itself, this was a research based move.
“We bought several albums during pre-sale to see what features they offer, and if this was a platform we would consider using for our own musicians,” the Third Planet Studio co-owner told Rolling Stone.
After the initial market crash, the Third Planet co-owner attempted to sell a copy of the album for $1,000. You received an email confirming that the NFT had been sold and the asset had been removed from the collection, but you didn’t see any payouts. Similarly, he also attempted to pull out two copies of the album to put in his personal NFT wallet and received confirmation that the transfer was complete, but the actual transfer never happened. The NFTs never made it to his personal wallet.
And in addition to the withdrawal and transaction issues, questions have been raised about Lanez’s role in the entire operation.
Because he owns shares in the company behind E-NFT, it has been argued that every tweet or social media post about When It’s Dark is some kind of marketing tip and that if Lanez was lying about how many copies of the album he had sold or by lying about the sale price of certain copies of the album, you could have been misleading potential buyers and, in turn, violating laws set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Writing that it is possible for “Lanez to tell his followers that an NFT is being resold for thousands of dollars amounts to investment advice”, the report goes on to say that “From a practical point of view. If you’re posting an NFT to make it look like it’s tradeable and its value going up, then it could be considered security and should be registered… If (Lanez) is exaggerating the value on social media, that might fall under what’s considered a value.”
If Lanez is found to be involved in some sort of securities fraud, the rapper could face some pretty serious charges.
“In 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk agreed to pay a $40 million penalty after he was sued by the SEC for securities fraud,” the report says, adding that Musk tweeted about a possible buyout of his company, which caused its share price to skyrocket.
Rolling Stone concluded that this case isn’t as bad as something like the theft of Bernie Madoff’s retirement funds in the mid-2000s, but for a guy already facing felony charges for allegedly shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the foot. , any type of fraud or law… breaking the activity will surely provoke the wrath of many and serious consequences.
Did you grab the When It’s Dark NFT when it dropped? Let us know if you ran into any issues with it and your thoughts on this whole Tory Lanez situation in the comments.