Does it sometimes feel like technology is moving too fast, and that HipHop culture will once again undergo massive transformations as a consequence?
From Travis Scott performing a concert in Fortnite in 2020, to Snoop Dogg announcing that Death Row Records will be an “NFT label”, it feels like change is happening under the surface without most of us realizing.
Now Loud Crypto Records, an upcoming record label that plans on being the first fully decentralized rap label, is using artificial intelligence to generate digital painting of rap lyrics.
The collective has just released a new art project: “RapScapes”.
According to Loud Crypto Records founder Sam Kovacs, who goes by @dollardollarsam online: “RapScapes are basically an A. I’s interpretation of iconic HipHop lyrics as digital paintings”.
How does it work?
The A.I. leverages two technologies, VQGAN and CLIP, which allow users to give a text prompt, which the A.I. will then use to produce a piece of digital art.
The “secret sauce” lies in tinkering with the A.I. to give it the artist direction and style which matches the project.
It is literally painting with words.
The A.I will paint its interpretation of famous lyrics such as “Cash Rules Everything Around Me”, “Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death”, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and more.
One such digital painting will be produced every day, and sold as unique NFTs.
Sam Kovacs says “All RapScapes are unique pieces of art which often give more context to the lyrics and provide us with a more profound understanding of our favorite songs”.
Sam Kovacs named the A.I. persona that will paint RapScapes “GunninGAN”.
There is a cryptic meaning to the name, and Sam Kovacs says there will be a reward for the first person who uncovers exactly why it is named this way.
He says “knowledge of street-art culture to uncover the meaning of the name”.
But according to him “RapScapes are just the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to new technology redefining our experience with music.
Loud Crypto Records plans on leveraging NFT technology to launch a decentralized rap label.
In a couple of months, Loud Crypto Records will sell a “genesis collection of 4,500 NFTs” which will fund the decentralized label.
Holders of the NFTs will get to vote for the artists which the label signs, as well as the budgets allocated to each artist.
Interesting detail, holders of RapScapes will get a free Genesis NFT sent to them, making the RapScape “essentially free”.
Rap artists signed by the label will get generous contracts that give them ample funding as well as much higher royalties than the industry standard.
Sam Kovacs says “Today, artists only get 12% of what the industry makes. That’s plain predatory, any way you look at it.”
By leveraging the community, Sam Kovacs expects to redefine how music is made and distributed in upcoming years.
He says that rap artists that are signed will also benefit from having a team which is dedicated to pursuing “Web 3.0 opportunities” for them. This includes everything from selling singles as exclusive NFTs, sending NFT concert tickets to fans, and providing immersive experiences to fans online.
If NFTs and blockchain technology are set to change the music landscape, Sam Kovacs is set on spearheading the change. He doesn’t see Snoop Dogg’s Death Row Records NFT initiative as competition.
“If anything, it’s validation that there is massive opportunity in the industry. I have not reached out to Snoop or Death Row. We are in discussion with a handful of HipHop greats, but if Snoop or anyone else wants to collaborate they can reach out on Twitter or Discord. We’re on a mission to change the industry.”
Sam Kovacs says that he’s doing this to positively impact and change the course of HipHop, in a way which “puts fans and artists at the forefront, and corporate interests in the backseat”.