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A Tribe Called Quest to sell royalties share as an NFT


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Can they sell it? Yes, they probably can. ‘They’ being pioneering hip-hip group A Tribe Called Quest, and ‘it’ being a share of the recordings royalties from their first five albums. And somewhat inevitably, in 2021, that sale will take the form of an NFT.

Billboard reported that the group are working with Royalty Exchange on the sale. It kicks off later today and will last for 24 hours, with a starting price of $35k and the promise of a 1.5% share of the five studio albums’ sound recording royalties: “Sales, streaming, sync, satellite radio, digital downloads, CD sales, TV/film/commercial placements, samples and more…”

Royalty Exchange has built its business around people buying and selling music rights, but NFTs are a recent expansion: it recently made headlines with its sale of a slice of the publishing royalties for Lil Dicky’s song ‘Save Dat Money’, with an NFT that eventually sold for 9.209 Ether ($23.2k at the time).

When the A Tribe Called Quest auction goes live, we should get a sense of exactly how valuable those royalties will be because Royalty Exchange generally publishes a figure for the last 12 months’ of royalties for rights being sold on its platform. The share of ‘Save Dat Money’ that was being sold as an NFT had generated just $2,634 over the last year, for example.

A Tribe Called Quest have more than 4.1 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, and their NFT will encompass the various other royalty streams. That said, what’s being sold is just a 1.5% share of that income. There’s no doubt that in the hip-hop pantheon, when it comes to rhythms Quest is your saviour… but potential buyers of their NFT will still need to do the due diligence on what kind of return they can really expect.


Written by: Stuart Dredge