Black Dave Token: Betting on the Jockey

tl;dr: Black Dave Token is a bet on the artist, not the asset. Mint as many as you’d like here.

Yo! I’ve been racking my brain around what the next set of content around Black Dave Token looks like. I didn’t realize how complacent I’d grown around the idea of rolling things out over an extended period of time, as releasing NFTs is largely focused around the campaign ending when you sell the token. My initial plan was to start trying to court institutional money, from platforms and marketplaces who wanted to work with me as well as DAOs & businesses who want me to consult or something. This is still a goal, that one person or org who decides to contribute 50 ETH or something to the cause as opposed to buying (probably another) Bored Ape (50.75 ETH floor price at the time of typing this)…but it’s been hard to figure out the right words and approach for that. Placing that aside, let’s get to what this is actually about, Black Dave Token is a bet on me, not my work.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve released a handful of songs as NFTs into the world, all performing below my expectations. Whether dropping through another platform (“Feel Good” via NoiseDAO), dropping to commemorate an event (“Black Dave Black Comet Coda” to celebrate 2 years since my first music NFT) or dropping in collaboration (“I Love This Shit!” featuring Stonez the Organic), everything has been a bit underwhelming. There are a variety of reasons music NFTs aren’t having the headline garnering moments, and if I had to oversimplify, the market conditions require us to do more while receiving less for that work. As I continue to release these digital assets to the world, I’ve been having to reevaluate where the value lies, and (for the moment at least) it points to this one thing:

The Artist is Valuable, the Asset is Not

Since launching Black Dave Token, and getting through over 13,000 mints of the 1,000,000 mint goal, I’ve found that the people minting it are more interested in me, my ideas and my overall success than the proliferation of any specific work I’ve released to the world. Going all in on a specific work may not pan out, but it feels like supporting someone you believe in holistically has a very different potential. This zoomed out approach allows the individual work to exist as part of a larger story, and allows fans and collectors to participate in the parts of the story that resonate with them. Holders of Black Dave Token have not only presented a financial interest in my success but have done things from taking calls with me to connect me with people to educating me on topics as they pertain to my growth to partnering with and allowing me to use their platforms for drops and so many more smaller actions that push me further along my path. Looking at creating through this lens, it’s less stress as an artist and while on a longer time horizon, collectors and supporters can see results from this more broad approach.


When I used to do a lot of education around web3 and NFTs, introducing folks to the space (avoiding the word onboarding besides this mention of the word), I would often say the value of your NFTs have an opportunity to go up as your value as a creative goes up. I would always say “if your value as an artist goes up, then theoretically your NFTs become more valuable.” When I was saying this back in 2021, I was trying to place worth on the individual works, while also recognizing that above all, the perceived value of the artist themselves is what truly drives value. There are many times in web3 that we’ve invested in someone as an operator as opposed to the product itself. Looking at the way some of the PFP projects have been purchased and can have a bit of a resurgence is proof that the operator matters.

From a streetwear perspective, I think a lot about how when Supreme does their big preview before every season, there are pieces that are I love and pieces that I like less, but they’re all Supreme, so there’s an inherent value in all of them. There are people who know how and when to get the ultra hyped and popular items, and there are people who have no clue when the new items for the week come out, who are happy to get ANYTHING from Supreme. As an artist, having fans can be a lot like this, with some folks showing up for the hyped up single and others showing up for the overall brand. This is the part where I veer off to talk about how in the era of limited attention, it’s become harder and harder to sell brand, while algorithmically prioritizing the moment.

If The Artist Has All The Value, Does The Work Even Matter?

Asking myself this sort of hot take question (as all of this is a stream of consciousness anyway), I think the answer is yes and no. There are tons of strong brands that release lackluster products that do great. Those brands will be known far and wide, but it will be for the brand not for the product. Conversely, there are brands who create great product who will never influence the world the way they hope. I believe that the combination of the two is very important, because after a certain point, the work needs to be good, because everything around you has likely reached a minimum quality level. What’s more important than great work to me is the existence of work, and the continued creation of work in hopes of increasing the value of the brand. Unless you’re Lauryn Hill, creating one great piece of work and never doing it again doesn’t actually work. For the record, I do know that she released that 5 song EP a few years back, but I think as a people, we’ve decided it doesn’t exist. To sum it up in one sentence: Sometimes an individual work will matter, but continuing to work matters more.

In Conclusion

To wrap this up, I’ll say that Black Dave Token represents supporting the jockey over the horse. It gives you the space to support the continued creation of my ideas, which is the goal for many, while choosing which specific works resonate with you along the way. Eventually, with the right resources, many more ideas will become hits, and as we take this journey together, Black Dave Token will be a major contributor to getting there.

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