International rap icon Akon has announced a collaboration with Element.Black for the launch of his music mystery box. Element.Black is a leading SocialFi and NFT-focused company, which has products such as Pixel-Infinity and Music-Infinity that allow users to co-produce digital creations in different formats. Akon’s mystery box also underscores the concept of “co-create.”
International rap icon has announced a collaboration with Element.Black for the launch of his music mystery box. Element.Black is a leading SocialFi and NFT-focused company, which has products such as Pixel-Infinity and Music-Infinity that allow users to co-produce digital creations in different formats. Akon’s mystery box also underscores the concept of “co-create.”
The project was officially launched on Binance and OKX, prominent crypto exchanges founded by two Chinese entrepreneurs, on April 22. According to OKX’s Twitter, Akon’s Music NFT has a total of 10 tracks, “each of which has a different music times & rights.” Two days earlier, OKX jumpstart listed Element.Black’s governance token ELT.
As one of the most legendary rappers in history, Akon is a five-time Grammy nominee, the duet singer of Hold My Hand with Michael Jackson, and who from early on recognized Lady Gaga’s vocal talent. He is not only an ingenious creator but also a music businessman involved deeply in the industry. In his eyes, NFTs are and will be continuously revolutionizing the way people listen to and buy music – not only ensuring transparency in the music industry but also benefiting musicians. He holds very high expectations about the newly released NFTs, and was even willing to release some songs that were never released before, saying: “I have some never-before-released songs that will only be available through this NFT collection, so people will be surprised and talk about them. I hope this serves as a model for others in the industry.” This is definitely an extra attraction to those fans, bringing more crypto newbies down the rabbit hole.
The key philosophy of Akon’s mystery box is “create-to-earn.” Instead of giving users a piece of music, Akon wants to incentivize people’s creativity to bring something new to his music. Akon has prepared 12,000 NFTs containing music elements (soundtracks), which will be randomly packaged into NFT mystery boxes. Besides the music piece, each mystery box has the image of a lion PFP debris as well. Therefore, there are two ways to “create” after purchasing a mystery box.
The first approach is through music. Users can use Music Infinity to co-create new music together with Akon’s original music piece. For example, users are allowed to remix with their own original content, combine different Akon’s pieces, or re-edit the Akon music. Then, a new music NFT that belongs to the user is generated, and this user will be able to receive sales revenues and rewards for their personalized and self-produced music NFT from Music Infinity.
The detailed mechanism is for users to download Akon’s original music. Each original piece is assigned a certain number of stars scaling from one to five based on its length and the number of tracks. Users edit the piece to form a new music piece. After uploading back to Music Infinity, the piece will have a crown ranking, which equals the sum of the stars of the used music NFT elements, and it will become a crown NFT. The crown ranking also decides how long this newly produced music NFT can play. When other users stream or download the crown NFT, creators can receive related revenues:
- 70% goes to the crown NFT owner
- 10% goes to the creators of all used music pieces in the new work
- 10% goes to all crown NFT owners proportionally distributed by the number of crowns they are holding
- 10% will be burnt
The second approach is through PFP. There are currently six kinds of traits available on the platform and users can dress up their lions by matching different costume elements in their fitting room. Users can sell their PFP NFTs after completing their creation.
Both crown music NFTs and PFP NFTs can be staked. The staking rate of return for music NFTs is based on the crown level, while the staking rate of return of the PFP ones is lower.
On the official listing page of Akon’s music mystery box, the holder’s privileges are listed as follows:
1) The collectors will get access to exclusive Akon music pieces.
2) The collectors will be able to combine, re-edit, and remix the NFT music pieces and integrate them into one new music NFT.
3) The collectors will get access to exclusive NFT profile picture accessories and create their personalized NFT profile pictures, which can be used as their music covers.
4) The collectors will receive token airdrops through staking the music NFTs.
5) The music producers who generate new music NFTs will be able to receive ELT token mining rewards from the receipts of new music sales based on the crown levels of their new music.
6) The music producers who generate new music NFTs will potentially get the chance to collaborate with Akon.
It is not hard to tell that although there are two NFTs contained in the box, the music one is still the leading role and the IP of Akon is the core selling point here. Akon is not a big name in the crypto community and his NFT series is not bombshell news compared to other superstars’ releases. However, his attempt brings a new approach and might be a new trend to the X-to-earn ecosystem and the music NFT world – user-generated content. Although other music NFT projects try to build up a new tokenomics and financial relationships between sides, they do not change the role people are playing – the power of creation still belongs to musicians alone. However, in Akon’s case, we observe a new design, in which listeners can enjoy music while building their own distinctive NFT character. The roles of creator and listener are now mutable, which is certainly a revolutionary change if the condition becomes normal. It will radically and permanently change the relationship between musicians and listeners.
This change is very closely-linked to Web3. Please keep in mind that in the Web3 era, everyone can be a creator and everything might be democratized. No one is a born passive receiver. Express yourself and have fun.