In January, rapper, producer, and fashion designer Kanye West shared an Instagram image of a handwritten note that included the line, “Do not ask me to do a fucking NFT” (he added, “Ask me later”). Despite that apparent reticence, he may now have plans to enter the space, based on newly-filed trademark applications.
West’s Mascotte Holdings Inc. has filed 17 trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office—including mentions of potential “non-fungible assets” and “metaverse experiences.” In particular, one filing notes the potential for “providing an online marketplace for buyers of crypto and/digital collectibles, currencies, tokens, and assets.”
The applications all center on use of the YEEZUS brand, which was the name of West’s 2013 album as well as a long-running tour. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property discovered the filings and tweeted about them earlier today.
Kanye West has filed 17 new trademark applications around his YEEZUS name.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) June 1, 2022
The applications, which were filed on May 27, also span a wide array of potential products outside of the crypto space, including apparel, video games, retail stores, amusement parks, cosmetics, and quite a bit more.
Unfortunately, the filings list only very basic descriptions of potential product offerings, and do not go into any detail about the types of NFTs that West might pursue or what kind of metaverse experiences he may deliver.
An NFT is a blockchain-based token that works as a proof of ownership, and is often used for digital works like illustrations, profile pictures, music files, and video game items. Meanwhile, the metaverse refers to a more immersive future evolution of the internet in which people use avatars to socialize, work, and play.
If West does enter the Web3 realm with NFTs and metaverse experiences, he will enter a space increasingly crowded with other prominent rappers. Snoop Dogg, for example, has released numerous NFTs and collaborated with The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based metaverse game world. He also claims to be the pseudonymous high-value NFT collector, Cozomo de’ Medici.
Meanwhile, Ice Cube’s BIG3 professional basketball league has decentralized team ownership in the form of NFT stakes, which Snoop Dogg and other notable people in the NFT scene (such as entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk) have invested in. Nas is another rapper in the space who was an early investor in Coinbase and has released music NFTs via the Royal platform.