Jay-Z and Sotheby’s Auctioning Off NFT Commemorating ‘Reasonable Doubt’

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In Brief
  • Jay-Z and Sotheby's have announced a new NFT auction featuring art commemorating the rapper's debut studio album.

  • The NFT is a one-of-a-kind piece by artist Derrick Adams and commemorates the 25th anniversary of the albums launch.

  • The auction is live on Sotheby's until July 2, and bids can be submitted using either ETH or BTC.

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Jay-Z has announced, in collaboration with Sotheby’s, a non-fungible token (NFT) auction to commemorate the 25th anniversary of one of the best rap albums ever produced. 

The ‘Reasonable Doubt’ NFT will be a digital piece based on the cover art of Jay-Z’s debut album from back in 1996. The sale will be held by Sotheby’s, and is for a special single-lot auction that runs through July 2. The piece up for sale is titled ‘Heir to the Throne: An NFT in Celebration of Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt 25th Anniversary by Derrick Adam.” It features a digital portrait of Jay-z that was inspired by the cover art for the classic album.

A real-world version of the artwork exists and is part of the rapper’s personal art collection. Bidding for the auction began at $1,000 and has since been bid up to $2,200. Proceeds from the sale will go to charities that Jay-Z supports such as his Shawn Carter Foundation that helps adolescents get access to secondary education. The auction house will accept both Ethereum and Bitcoin as payment options with crypto payment being handled via Coinbase Commerce. 

According to the listing on Sotheby’s, “Adams’ work reinterprets and recontextualizes the album cover to create a new contemporary take on a portrait that defined an era – as a comment and reminder that Reasonable Doubt remains vital and new today. Heir to the Throne marks the first-ever NFT for both Jay-Z and Derrick Adams.”

Adams’ name has been on the rise recently, with multiple high-selling pieces auctioned off in recent years. The artist was also featured in Beyonce’s 2020 film Black is King. 

The ‘Reasonable Doubt’ album is considered one of the most significant rap records of all time and cemented Jay-Z as one of the pioneers of 90s hip-hop

The auction comes on the heels of controversy

The announcement and launch of Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’ auction come just days after a bit of drama unfolded surrounding the album. Co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records Damon Dash was sued by the company for trying to sell the copyright of the albums as an NFT last week. According to the court documents, Roc-A-Fella Records claim that the label owns the rights to the album, not Dash. Therefore, Dash cannot auction off something that he has no ownership over. Dash still owns a third of the label, nonetheless, he has no right to sell anything the company owns.

The auction was scheduled for this week on the NFT platform SuperFarm but was given the ax after both the marketplace and Dash himself received letters from the label’s lawyers. Dash has not embraced that message however, as it is reported he is still trying to shop the NFT to other venues. Dash claims that he was trying to sell his stake in the label and as an NFT and not the album rights, but it remains to be seen if that is even a possibility.


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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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