Hey! It's been a few months since the last update, and while the market conditions haven't changed much, I'm still here in web3 trying to get to it. I just dropped a collection of songs on streaming platforms in a project called SS23. This post might read more like an "update" as to what I have going on, but hopefully you'll be able to grab some info from how I'm approaching things.
Something I've been coming to blows with a bit these days is the poor sales of my music NFTs through 2023. Obviously there's a lot less money moving around in the ecosystem and while my ego can be pretty wild at times, I'm not so delusional to think that huge chunks of that money should be flowing to me for my anime raps (even though they're wonderful anime raps). It's easy to think that when things aren't going well in web3 that it has something to do with your music, but NFTs are an asset class that is at the mercy of an another asset, crypto. When one isn't going well, it effects the other. I've been making some of my favorite music of my career, and thinking that because NFTs represented by those songs aren't selling that the music isn't good would be the wrong way to think.
One of my plans for 2023 was to use the revenue I generated in web3 to begin my journey to introducing myself to the world outside of web3. I'm in a unique situation where I'm an artist who has gained almost all of their steam so far from existing in web3, but I understand that until the world gives a shit about it (they SUPER don't right now), that I need to make sure I'm playing the game outside of it as well. So much rock-rap crossover music has been dropping lately (Paris Texas with Mid Air, Teezo Touchdown's debut album, Kevin Abstract just dropped a single, Uzi with Babymetal and covering System of a Down on his recent album, Dropout Kings on the hardcore side, etc) that I feel like it's my time to join the fray. NFTs didn't go so hot and Black Dave Token is moving but not at a rate that I can go crazy with the extracurriculars. In order to warm myself up to trying things at a grander scale, I dropped SS23 to get used to all of the other work artists have to do. I'm gonna still try to avoid Tik Tok though.
The real project comes later.
In the last few months, Black Dave Token has grown in an interesting direction. What was once a token designed to support me getting ideas off has added another tier of value (because my ideas are valuable) in the form of a Telegram chat for people who own the token. The chat has become somewhat known for the quality and types of conversations that are happening in there. There are many people who mint just one token in order to join the chat, and when they join have expectations of the chat that aren't actually related to what Black Dave Token was created for. Black Dave Token is now not just something that represents your belief that my ideas are valuable, but now has become a show to others that you are part of the conversations happening in Telegram, whether a participant or a lurker. For the last few weeks, I've been trying to think about mentioning the chat as an explicit part of the value of owning the token helps or hurts the initial reason for the token's existence. Saying "hey there's a great chat" means that I have to begin considering if the chat adds value to the people in it, as opposed to it just existing as a sort of a "Free Parking" (this is a Monopoly reference) for people who have the token. If the chat becomes part of the value of Black Dave Token ownership, my energy then has to shift to providing value to people in the chat, as opposed to creating value by having the mental and financial space to work on and execute on the ideas I want to see and put into the world. There is, however, a chance that by creating a really high value Telegram chat that I'm able to generate the funds I'm looking for by creating systems around the value created in the Telegram with things such as subscriptions, rising minimum gating, limited minting periods and probably a bunch of other random shit if I thought longer than the amount of time it's taken me to type this sentence. In theme with this whole thing, I have no answers...only more questions for myself.
I don't think they're related but...yes? I don't think I was ignoring the rest of the world as far as music is concerned, but I certainly wasn't putting a focus on it. I'm very interested in making sure people know that my foundations were in this ecosystem before I ended up wherever I'm going. As it stands right now, I'm still able to stay financially afloat just by being in web3, but I'm looking to expand the brand a bit more and have more connections with people that don't really require it. I guess the thing about "making it in NFTs as a rapper" was that I actually was able to get a little traction...and now it's time to figure out what's next. While having songs that haven't sold out yet on Sound (Advice & Lavender) or having a gang of Black Dave Token available for minting or a whole slew of other NFTs for sale, I want to continue to explore the other paths to success. I don't know what it looks like, and there's a lot of work today...but we gotta start somewhere.
This whole post has been lowkey promo for you to listen to SS23 on your favorite streaming service. Click here to choose your favorite streaming platform and give it a spin. Follow me on there! Other than that, I'm just gonna continue to journey into the depths and see what I can find. If I find anything cool, I'll let you know.
For anyone making music in web3 right now looking to this post for advice...keep trying shit if you can. It certainly sucks at times because it feels like your music isn't resonating with folks, but it'll come with time and if we've learned anything about crypto...it's that it rewards the early. Keep going if you can, don't sweat it if you can't. Your cool ideas might flop, but keep making them and if they're good then they'll eventually catch on.