XXXTentacion has joined the wave of posthumous NFT drops — set to become the first musician to posthumously release music as NFTs. The news comes months into a boom for non-fungible tokens, or exclusive online pieces, in the music and art worlds. And while other NFT projects have involved photos and digital artwork of deceased musicians, the XXXTentacion drop will be the first to involve unreleased songs. The estate of the late, controversial rapper will release five of his songs as NFTs, complete with custom artwork, on May 10, Rolling Stone reported. The drop will also include footage from XXXTentacion’s only tour, in 2017. The company YellowHeart will put the NFTs up for auction on the blockchain, which validates the exclusivity of the tokens, as part of the launch for its own NFT marketplace. (Notably, YellowHeart will not require payments to be made in cryptocurrency like other marketplaces, and will accept credit cards as well.) “There should be a reveal when it opens, as to what exactly it is,” Josh Katz, the company’s CEO, told Rolling Stone of the songs. Solomon “Sounds” Sobande, XXXTentacion’s manager, added that the five songs “were big on SoundCloud,” but none have been formally released and some are no longer available.
XXXTentacion, born Janseh Ofroy, died in a shooting in June 2018 at 20 years old. The rapper had been accused of abusing his ex-girlfriend, and was awaiting trial for domestic-violence charges at the time. YellowHeart will donate its profits to the nonprofit XXXFoundation, along with groups supporting women who have experienced domestic abuse. Other recent posthumous NFT pieces have included digital masks sold by the estate of late rapper MF Doom and some of the last formal photos of late Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain.