Jay-Z may have put Damon Dash’s plans on hold to sell the Brooklyn rapper’s 1996 classic debut as an NFT, a non-fungible digital token, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have plans of his own for the album’s 25th anniversary. As previously reported, Roc-A-Fella Records sued Dash last week for trying to sell Reasonable Doubt as an NFT. The album is owned by the label, which consists of Jay-Z, Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke.
To celebrate the album’s anniversary of June 25, 1996, Jay-Z is auctioning his own NFT inspired by the album cover and has hired auction house Sotheby’s to handle the bidding. The Roc Nation boss commissioned Derrick Adams for a “one-of-one animated digital artwork that comments on and re-contextualizes the album’s iconic cover.”
The one-of-one NFT titled “Heir to the Throne,” which was the original title of the album, is composed of a single animated digital image in which Adams creates a fresh and contemporary visual representation of Reasonable Doubt. The artwork features his singular aesthetic style of bright colors, geometric forms, multi-layered textures, and flat surface dimensions. Adams’s goal was to make a cinematic visual experience that channels not just the spirit and impact of the music, but also the aspirational impulses of Jay-Z at the dawn of his career.
“Can’t knock the hustle. In celebration of Jay-Z’s pioneering and landmark debut album, Reasonable Doubt, Sotheby’s is offering an NFT of original digital art by critically admired American artist @derrickadamsny. Commissioned by JAY-Z, the one-of-one animated digital artwork titled, ‘Heir to the Throne’, comments on and recontextualizes the album cover of the legendary artist and entrepreneur. The auction is the only official event authorized by JAY-Z to commemorate ‘Reasonable Doubt’s’ historic 25th anniversary and a portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the @shawncartersf,” the announcement on Sotheby’s Instagram page reads.
Online bidding for the NFT is now open until July 2 and the artwork can be currently seen at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries or virtually via IG @decentraland_foundation. The bidding starts at $1,000. Check out some photos of the NFT and artist Derrick Adams below.