What Am I Up To?

Hey. Been a while. Since joining the realm at the end of 2020, this year as a creator using web3 tech has been pretty rough for me in terms of sales. I've released a handful of things that have gone unminted, performed below expectations, and forced folks to reconsider their strategies. Trying to make moves while living on a version of the edge of your finances is tough, but still better than working a 9-5. As I continue to traverse the terrible market conditions, hopefully dumping my thoughts as they relate to what I'm up to will help you as much as it may me. That's the intention at least. Let's dig in. Apologies for all of the links, but they're a mechanism to explain my thoughts and maybe a light #sponsored (by myself).

Going Wide

One of the fundamental differences between the earlier years of my journey and this year is that I'm going wide with my releases. In my first couple of years releasing in web3, the formula was: release the NFT, sell out the NFT, release the next NFT, and since then I've taken a different approach, allowing multiple things to exist in the ecosystem without the sense that something not being completely sold through prohibits me from releasing the next thing. This format presents a feeling of freedom, where I'm doing whatever I want to an even higher level (I already do what I want to a comparatively high level), without a feeling of obligation to the thing right in front of me. Saying "here's the energy I'm on" more broadly as opposed to forcing one thing on your feed feels better.

Right now, I'm working on Black Dave Token, NFT releases (not just music) and another full scale project, this time a PFP project. I feel like everything that's out has its own place and reason it exists, so I'm gonna try to break them down to hopefully help you think about what you've got going on. These are mostly disconnected thoughts that probably all point to something I'll (we'll?) realize by the end of this.

Turning My Ideas Into Art, As Opposed to Making Art From My Ideas

One of the things I've been focused on this year, especially in the last couple of months is how I can turn my ideas into the "work." I've been having an internal battle between Black Dave the artist and Black Dave the thought leader, and one of the homies (shout out MIkael!) told me to think of my ideas as a part of the art practice as opposed to trying to trying to separate them. This was a huge unlock for me and since then I've been minting videos of my thoughts on Zora for you to collect in a series called Yards. The videos have been getting posted on twitter for everyone to see, but minting them as NFTs reinforces their value, in a way. I have a handful more ideas around turning my ideas into the thing, but this is a solid foundation, without regard to how well they perform in the short term.

Zooming out a bit, and looking at how everyone is a multihyphenate or part of the slash generation or whatever the fuck you call it — finding a way to turn everything you do into one cohesive thing is what makes the most sense. I like to think I'm peddling a lifestyle or culture, as opposed to the specific products themselves.

Black Dave Token

So far in 2023, Black Dave Token is the thing I'm doing with the most impact. Not only has it driven around half what I've brought in financially this year, but finding growth has proven slow, despite the strength of support within the community (shout out the telegram chat). I've been trying to shoot at token buys with organizations in the form of (or in exchange for) sponsorships and consults and the like, sort of along the service based route...but it hasn't fleshed out yet. I am not so foolish to think that the journey would be easy, but when you combine a unique structure like the token with these market conditions (this sounds like an excuse and I hate excuses but oh well), it makes sense that the growth in this direction is slow.


The thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is how I can create a culture of having people purchase periodically, whether monthly, quarterly or some other amount of time. I'm working on figuring it all out but one of the things I do to push myself is try to make them more real appearing than they are in the moment, so here ya go:

Black Dave Token Reup Club is a program designed to enhance supporting Black Dave Token by creating better recurring minting solutions and celebrating those who participate in it. More on that later, all I have is the picture and the statement for now.

Music, Music, Music & Music

Just because I'm focused on this whole "my ideas are the art" thing doesn't mean I'm not making things. I've been putting out some music that I've personally been really enjoying as NFTs. My mindset around releasing music onchain has shifted a bit, as I said before, to where I'm not so focused on selling out before creating the next offering. I dropped a song called Advice on Sound, and while that song hasn't sold out of its editions yet, I decided to drop another song of mine called Lavender on the platform. Both of these are priced in a way that reflects the market, but I didn't stop there. I hopped onto Catalog, one of my favorite platforms, where songs are minted only as single editions, creating an opportunity for music to be as rare as other physical forms of art, to release a couple of songs. I dropped Newtype Poetry, a song that started out as a freestyle over a Drake beat, and it almost immediately sold. I dropped another song called Back On My Bullshit, which is my favorite song I've made in quite some time. Dropping music that is rare while also dropping music that comes as a numbered edition has been a nice breakup from the monotony of chasing the success of a single piece of work, and has allowed me to operate a bit more broadly, showing a wider spread of the work for purchase at once. Taking this a step further, I've been releasing my older music with a platform called Supercollector, which is selling digital access to my music via token ownership, a la Bandcamp, for $10 a song. You'll find 2 EPs (Chronicles & Unrequited) and 2 singles (Word Association & Stay Gold) over there at the moment.


I don't like to think I'm so fancy as to concern myself with market segmentation in a longform written piece, but yeah I guess this could be that. I'm learning to not allow unsold work to deter me from minting the next thing, and to think about things more holistically than individual.

Up Next: Project Phäros

Something I haven't lost conviction in during my time in web3 is that culture is king. I think we're still trying to find what "culture" looks like and how existing cultures integrate into this technology (and subculture of its own), but I think if you're creating culture, then you have a shot. Project Phäros is a story-driven PFP project, brainchild of Matt Monday, with a heavy community focus on the cultures that we're all about: streetwear, sneakers, rap music, anime, art and gaming. With Project Phäros, I'm working on making sure that we're creating experiences that people of these cultures not only would be interested in, but can enjoy. Even knowing me just the amount of time I've been in web3, you'll know that I am an active participant in all of these cultures (and Matt and I have been working together for a decade), and so instead of convincing people to buy an NFT and then figuring out what the culture is, we're looking to create a home first that people of the culture wanna be a part of. My overarching theory here is that culture can withstand market conditions. We're just rolling out our social media and getting things going. We'd love a follow on twitter or instagram or even warpcast.

In Conclusion

To wrap this all up I'll just say I'm overwhelmed. I have a lot of things out and I'm not 100% sure how I should organize around them but I do know that I gotta put them out in order to figure out how to get organized. There will be a lot of things happening really quickly over here so keep watch if you're interested in this sort of thing, because I'll be soon shifting my attention fully to Project Phäros, and I hope you'll join us!

Subscribe to Black Dave
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.