Music NFTs Create Collectives That Help Each Other, Says Dylan Rhodes

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In Brief
  • The music industry’s integration of NFTs ushered in a flurry of new use cases and for the music industry new possibilities.

  • Rapper Dyl uses music and NFTs to tell the story of the crypto movement through a new musical subgenre called “Crypto Music."

  • Dyl believes music NFTs can go beyond additional album features to create communities.

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BeinCrypto spoke to recording artist Dylan Rhodes about “crypto music” and what this new platform for musicians means for the future of the art.

The story of crypto unfolds every moment. Each day as the market fluctuates, new Web 3 developments surface. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are minted, and the story of crypto adds a page. However, it is not every day in the space where someone sets out specifically to tell the narrative of the crypto space — through music. 

However, music and the technological realm in which crypto inhabits have more similarities than one would think. At its very base level, the melody of a song is constructed of a series of melodic phrases. These phrases express an idea or a theme. Additions to or variations on these themes enrich or add to the initial melody.

A parallel can be drawn with code and the writing thereof. An initial phrasal sequence of data eventually turns into a digital element. Additions to such code also have the ability of enhancement to the final product. 

This is a moment in history when these two modes of idea expression intersect in previously unlinkable ways. For rapper and musician Dyl, crypto and music come together to express the story of the crypto space and create communities. 

A crypto musical narrative 

“Crypto music” is a semi-new term floating around space. Technically it can refer to a myriad of things.

One is how the music industry integrates elements such as NFTs and blockchain-based streaming. However, for an emerging group of musicians, it can also refer to the subgenre of music about and for the crypto community. For crypto-rapper Dyl, this subgenre seeks to do just that.

“When I think of crypto music it tells a story about crypto.”

His album, “Crypto Rich,” is one of the first-ever crypto concept albums. It is inspired by his entrance into the crypto community in 2017. 

Although the album initially started streaming in 2019, Dyl added songs on a deluxe version late last year. The rapper saw the need in the space for a musical expression of the crypto narrative, which he sought to fill. 

“The ‘Crypto Rich’ collective that we’re building and our album has a mission to enable people to take a path of financial and creativity. This is about showing everyone the world of crypto in a way that’s understandable, by just listening to a hip hop album, which is also really dope music.”

NFTs build communities

Over the last year, the idea of community has especially become an important piece to the story of crypto.

According to Dyl, crypto music is about making music that tells a story of crypto and building a community around those sounds. With the explosion of NFTs, Dyl saw an opportunity to engage his already blossoming crypto music collective.

“What’s so cool about the NFT integration is that it allows me to get funding directly from my fans. No middleman, no label that takes ownership. Just me and my fans. They know what their purchase of my NFT goes to support,” he says.

Moreover, Dyl offers his NFT holders exclusives in real life, along with a personal connection.

“My NFT holders have a lifetime ticket to shows, along with other opportunities to connect with me and collaborate.”

“Now I have almost one hundred VIP collectors who are working together, helping each other sell their work, doing promotional events, metaverse events. Through these music NFTs, I’m creating a collective of people who are helping each other. My platform as a musician is now a way to help other artists.”

Dyl says NFTs and music can go beyond novelty and additional monetization. 

I see a lot of artists coming to the space and essentially looking at it as more of a cash grab, rather than trying to build something related to their music in the space. The future of music NFTs is billions of dollars of digital assets on top of the current music industry. The future of music and NFTs is artists own their music. Artists are building their own, self-directed communities,” he says.

Building better from Web 2

The crypto rapper stressed that while exclusive blockchain-based albums have a place, the future of music and crypto music depends on community support. Moreover, analytical developments should not be overlooked and can serve as a pro for both musicians and collectors. 

The future of music and NFTs is that you see something while streaming, or you see an upcoming artist that you think will get really big, and you get their NFT. The best thing for you as a collector is if that artist gets a lot of Spotify streams or hits on their music video or radio time. You want the artist to make as much money as possible because that’s going to build value for your NFT,” he says.

“When you playback an NFT, you’re playing back a file, which does not capture the data on how many listens or where the people are listening. So when we think of music NFTs, we don’t want to go down this road where we’re losing some of the advancements of Web 2, such as listener data, audience data.”

As both industries advance and intertwine, professionals in both music and crypto will find new ways of connecting the two.

While the metaverse expands, musical communities will not only continue to grow but become the norm for future musical experiences.

As crypto continues its breakthrough to the minds of the mainstream, the narrative will need to be told. For crypto music and the storytellers like Dyl, this is only one of many chapters. 

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Savannah Fortis is a multimedia journalist covering stories at the intersection culture, international relations, and technology. Through her travels she was introduced to the crypto-community back in 2017 and has been interacting with the space since.

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