NFT Marketplace for Hip Hop Heads Launches on NEAR – NEAR Protocol

NFT Marketplace for Hip Hop Heads Launches on NEAR

Case Studies
June 19, 2021

Hey NEAR and Hip Hop Heads!

Get ready for our first consumer-facing NFT pop-up shop! This project sprang from the mind of Ed Young, one of the co-founders of the bible of hip-hop: The Source Magazine. He had this crazy idea, our team thought it was rad, and so we built it with him. What did we build? An epic collection of hip hop icons that you can own: Hip Hop Heads.

The Hip Hop Heads First Edition NFT Collection is a tribute to the history and culture of hip hop, 47 years after its inception in the Bronx, New York City. The collection features 103 animated portraits of famous figures from Hip Hop created by André LeRoy Davis for “The Last Word” feature of The Source over the last few decades.

The marketplace auction is officially live! Check out the entire collection at Every day from now, Juneteenth, until July 25, one new edition of each Hip-Hop Head will be added to the auction. Each Hip-Hop Head will start with a reserve price and the current bid is bonded with the item until it is outbid or the auction closes. If a bid is returned, fans can immediately use the returned credits to bid again.

Here’s the best part: cash rules everything around me. Fans can purchase these NFTs with a credit card. The marketplace offers an easier way to buy NFTs than ever before: no complicated onboarding, no passing through an exchange, just a simple, familiar purchasing experience made possible on NEAR. Check out the auction flow in the graphic below. And at the end of the auction on day 37, each winning buyer’s NFTs will display right in their NEAR wallet. Boom. It’s radical.

Another cool part: NFT royalties on NEAR are written right into the NFT code, which means that any secondary sales will automatically distribute royalties back to the creators, even if the NFT moves into different marketplaces. This is uniquely possible on NEAR thanks to the protocol’s contract-level NFT standard. On-chain, programmable royalties at the smart contract level put creative and financial power back in the hands of artists, and when you buy a NEAR NFT, you can be certain that the creators you love will continue to benefit from their work. A percentage of the royalties from the Hip Hop Heads NFT auctions and secondary sales will be gifted in perpetuity to the artists depicted or to their estates by Ed Young and André LeRoy Davis.

I’m so pumped to announce this launch. This carries a lot of personal weight for me. I remember the very first time I listened to “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).” Hip hop never let me go after that. It’s funny in some ways; imagine an angsty, small-town white kid, chasing his older brother and his surfer punk friends to the beach and singing every word to “C.R.E.A.M.” But in other ways, this was destined to happen because of the work of Ed Young at The Source. Hip hop has been a force pushing culture for almost 50 years, and now it is bridging into what’s been a somewhat fringe technology for the last five. This remix of crypto and hip hop is the first of what I’m sure will be many: a brand-new blend of culture and technology is now becoming possible.

We built this for people – fans – who know the feeling. Hip hop is so much more than music, and if you want to truly own a piece of its history, you should get on this! Try it out, start bidding, and let us know what you think. You only have 36 chambers…I mean days.

Bid on your favorite Hip Hop Head at!

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