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‘None of Them Has Received the Accolades That I Believe They Deserve’: Russell Simmons Launches NFT Collection to Honor Hip-Hop Pioneers

Russell Simmons is reportedly launching “Masterminds of Hip-Hop,” a collection of digital files known as non-fungible tokens that use blockchain, otherwise called NFTs, the technology that secures cryptocurrency. The collection’s launch party is set to take place on Aug. 13 in New York City.

The music mogel’s collection will be available on the NFT platform Tokau and will include recordings never heard before. Hip-hop artists like Grandmaster Caz, Chuck D., Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, MC Lyte, Nikki D, DJ Hollywood, Busy Bee and Snoop Dogg will all be part of the digital collection. The NFTs collection will also include behind-the-scenes stories from the hip-hop artists.

Russell Simmons meditates at his home in Bali. (Photo: Russell Simmons/Instagram)

Simmons thinks that performance art hip-hop artists didn’t receive the credit they deserved for being the pioneers of hip-hop. He announced “Masterminds of Hip Hop” on his Twitter account on June 23.

“Me and a bunch of original founding fathers of Hip Hop are collaborating with #TOKAU to exclusively launch an #NFT collection aptly named “Masterminds of Hip Hop”, for the purposes of giving credit and money to the these pioneers. Stay tune and follow @TOKAU_JP@bakery_swap.”

Simmons said that he wants to help out the artists who helped to found the multi-million- dollar industry but didn’t make millions themselves. He said that the “Masterminds of Hip-Hop” collection will compensate the original hip-hop artists.

“I often think of the early days of pre-recorded hip-hop when it was only a performance art. There were rappers and DJs who pioneered the space and made it so popular that the recording of rap artists was imminent. None of them has received the accolades that I believe they deserve and this is my chance to use a new vehicle to revisit and repay these amazing artists while they are still living,” said Simmons.

“What’s exciting is now fans everywhere can own a piece of this collection and have their own piece of Hip Hop history. What we did was add pieces of never before seen history and digital assets on the blockchain. Fans everywhere can buy 1 NFT or own the whole collection. We are excited about working with TOKAU and Paybby to make it easier for fans everywhere to participate.”

Paybby is a Black-owned digital bank that provides equal access to banking services for marginalized communities and will provide fans a payment portal to buy the NFTs from Tokau.

Simmons’ investment in the hip-hop community could also be great timing financially for everyone. NFT sales in 2021 so far are already $2.5 billion.

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