Celebrities have a long history as investors. Anyone who comes into a large sum of money is usually determined to keep that income flowing and diversifying revenue streams is one of the most sure-fire ways to turn present success into future security. One of the 90’s biggest rappers, Snoop Dogg has undoubtedly become one of the 21st century’s most successful celebrity investors. His track record of sound investments is truly impressive.
Back in 2014, Snoop was part of a $50 million celebrity investment in Reddit. At the time, this was a significant chunk of the company’s reported $500 million value. Since then, Reddit has exploded in popularity and is now valued at nearly $15 billion. This timely investment netted Snoop an undisclosed amount, but it’s hard to imagine he was unhappy with the results.
The next year, in 2015, Mr. Dogg also co-founded Casa Verde Capital; a venture capital fund focused on growing investments in recreational cannabis. Casa Verde was launched a full year before California legalized Snoop’s favorite crop and since then Casa Verde has doubled in size.
So yeah, when Snoop gets into something, it’s worth paying attention to.
What’s Next for Snoop?
Anyone who’s been following the rap icon’s Twitch career over the last few years knows exactly what Snoop has his eyes on these days—NFTs. Snoop has been going all-in on anything and everything Web3 over the last few years and he’s shown that he’s more than willing to put his money where his mouth is.
Retaking control over hip hop
To fully understand exactly what Snoop’s goals are, it’s important to go all the way back to 1993 and the release of the legendary album Doggystyle. Released on Death Row Records, the album became an instant hit and Snoop’s career took off overnight. The rapper has long vocally credited his success to the talent and dedication of the team at Death Row.
In 2009, however, Death Row Records was auctioned off and sold causing many artists to lose access to and control over their previous records. Understandably, this didn’t sit well with a lot of people—including Snoop Dogg. In 2022, it was announced that Death Row Records had been purchased by Snoop and that the sale included the entire back catalog of records.
What exactly does he plan on doing with these albums? That’s where things get interesting.
Music on the Blockchain
After his acquisition of Death Row Records, Snoop made it very clear what he was planning. In a March 2022 YouTube Livestream, Snoop was joined by longtime friend and collaborator Ice Cube to discuss the future of the label. During the exchange, the mogul’s vision for the future was rather clearly laid out.
“I just might sell ‘Nuthin’ But a G Thang’ next month…Death Row Records is the first major label to be an NFT label…creating content where people can actually own and trade…[T]his community is in dire need of great music and that’s what we plan on doing…This is what Death Row is all about, trying to expand and take it to new regions.”
Since then, Billboard has confirmed that all the new Death Row releases will be NFTs and that this would simply be the first drop.
Walking the walk
And Snoop isn’t just talk when he promotes his vision of the value of NFTs. In 2021, the same year that SpinFever.io officially launched, it was revealed that an NFT collector known as Cozomo de’ Medici—one of the most well-known names in the sector with a collection worth an estimated $17 million—was none other than Snoop Dogg himself. And he’s not just holding these things for profit, either. Snoop has a long history of using his gains for philanthropic ends.
Snoop’s plans for Death Row’s catalog aren’t his first foray into his own NFTs, either. In 2021, Snoop launched “A Journey with the Dogg”, an NFT collection that ultimately fizzled out but not before briefly being valued at more than $100,000 apiece.
The future of music?
While releasing albums as NFTs might sound a little out there at the moment, it’s been an emerging trend.
In August 2022, the first full-album NFT was released when British rock band Muse dropped their ninth studio album “Will of the People”. This album actually marked the first time that an NFT album had been considered eligible for tracking on sales charts. While the NFT sales were limited to only 1,000 copies, the album reached number 1 in many countries and hit number 4 on the US charts.
This is likely just the first step in a distribution revolution. It’s likely that NFTs will have the same impact on the music industry as Streaming had in the last decade. Snoop seems to support this saying “I know [NFTs] have a great opportunity to be big in music because sooner or later the labels are going to have to come on in. They’re going to have to come on home and sit at the table and understand that catalogs and things they hold onto are better served on the blockchain than sitting in the catalog collecting cobwebs.”
Building the Future
Snoop is betting big on NFTs and his interest in the field extends far beyond just music. In fact, he’s got his own entire Metaverse. In 2021, the Snoopverse was launched to massive hype with tokens selling for as much as $500 million.
While the functionality of metaverses is still an open topic for discussion, Snoop has taken steps to show off what can be done. His video for “The House I Built” was filmed entirely within the Snoopverse and shows off just how much customization users can get access to.
Here to Stay
Whatever your personal opinion on NFTs and the Metaverse, one thing is certain—they’re not going anywhere. NFTs have a tremendous potential to shake up the art and investment market in a way that hasn’t been seen since the internet first began gaining popularity in the early 21st century.