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Celebrity Slam - NFT Beef

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Celebrity feuds are a major component of our work here at Celebrity Slam. When famous folks start taking shots at one another, you never really know where it’s going to go – and sometimes, that unpredictability can result in items that are just perfect for this space.

Where’s the beef? Here at Celebrity Slam, if we’re lucky.

But here’s the thing about beef – it comes in many forms. You can get everything from ground beef to Wagyu steak and everything in-between. Even when you get past the quality of the beef, you still have to take into account the preparation of it all. Sizzle and steak come together an give us the precise flavor of beef we’re talking about.

We’re on record as noting that hip-hop beef is our favorite kind – when rappers start sniping away, whether it’s in person or over social media, it almost always turns up something tasty. And yet, even after years of celebrating these beefs, we can still be confronted with something that’s brand new.

Specifically, we’re going to talk about the current conflict between Jay-Z and Damon Dash.

Roc-A-Fella Records is suing Dash – who helped found the label alongside Jay-Z – claiming that the rapper is attempting to auction off one of Jay-Z’s debut albums as an NFT. RAF alleges that Dash is trying to mint an NFT (non-fungible token) of the “Reasonable Doubt” album in order to auction it off to the highest bidder. The label says that it isn’t Dash’s to sell because they own it; they’re asking that a court step in to stop any auction and force Dash to hand over any already-minted NFTs of the album.

For his part, Dash claims there’s more to the story. He says that Jay-Z attempted to buy Dash out from his stake in Roc-A-Fella, but Dash turned him down because the offer was unreasonably low. He also states that the aforementioned lawsuit is inaccurate in a number of ways; it’s not the album that he’s trying to sell, but his entire stake in the label.

According to Dash, the latest offer came in March, and was so low that Dash decided to take matters into his own hands and try to find a buyer. Dash also says that under the terms of any deal with a potential buyer, the buyer would obtain Dash’s share in Roc-A-Fella – a third of the company, by the way – while Jay-Z will maintain exclusive administration rights. He believes the lawsuit filed last week is little more than a scare tactic.

Man – hip-hop beefs used to be so SIMPLE. One dude says something about another dude, that dude writes a diss track, the two cross paths at a nightclub and their respective entourages yell at each other and maybe scuffle and then everybody moves on. Sure, they were dangerous, but they made a certain kind of sense.

This one, though? Who the hell even knows?

We’re certainly not prepared to get into the weeds regarding the relative legality or illegality of Dash selling an NFT of someone else’s album, even if he is a part-owner of the label that produced it. One imagines there’s some rather tricky legal ground to be navigated there. And when you introduce NFTs, which we’ll confess that we still don’t really understand – it all sounds a bit like an elaborate money laundering scheme combined with a meme generator aimed at people so obsessed with disrupting things that they’ve frittered away all semblance of common sense – well, let’s just say that this is NOT an old-school beef, despite the relative old-schoolness of the primary participants.

Regardless of how much or how little we understand the specifics of the disagreement here, can we all agree that it’s kind of hilarious that this is the kind of thing we’re left with when we talk about hip-hop beef these days? Two incredibly rich guys getting into a snit because one of them is trying to get richer in a manner that may or may not be at the expense of the other one. These are two millionaires slapfighting – never forget that.

But hey – maybe this will be the thing that finally gets us to take the time to figure out what the hell an NFT even is.

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 05:40

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