Over the past year, there has been a range of celebrities entering the NFT space. Whether to become a collector, member of the community, or pursue a new stream of revenue, stars — like many outside of the crypto and non-fungible ecosystem — are jumping on the NFT bandwagon.
Yet, while celebrities continue to launch themselves into the metaverse, a sort of unspoken governance has developed within the NFT space, effectively providing a filter for high-profile names hoping to join the community. Because of this, it’s become easy to discern the difference between stars who hope to uplift the space, and those looking to achieve the next multimillion-dollar NFT sale.
Cautionary tales aside, here’s a list of the celebrities who nailed their NFT drops and received a thumbs-up from the collective NFT community.
One of the most notable drops of 2021 came from the pairing of Paris Hilton and Blake Kathryn. Hilton entered the space as a collector and enthusiast, and endeavored to gain the trust and support of the NFT community long before she voiced her desire to conceive an NFT drop.
After weeks of engaging with artists and collectors, as well as purchasing a diverse range of pieces from influential creators in the space, Hilton solidified a reputation for herself as an NFT purist. And when she announced that her forthcoming drop would feature visuals from prominent crypto artist Kathryn — who is known for her soft, colorful 3D portraits and landscapes — it was clear the socialite had gotten in the game for the right reasons.
The collection — consisting of a 1/1, two multi-editions, and one open edition — hosted on Nifty Gateway in April 2021, sold out immediately, receiving widespread praise from the NFT community. Even after the drop, Hilton continued to engage with the community: She continued to collect art, educated her peers and followers, and even launched a gallery with Sevens Grant that displayed art from female-identifying NFT artists.
Mike Tyson has worn an interesting assortment of hats throughout his career, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when the boxing legend announced he was gearing up for an NFT drop in August 2021.
He had initially shown his involvement in the NFT space by collecting a few pieces and changing his Twitter PFP to a Cool Cat. And when it came time to create the art for his drop, nft now actually helped connect the dots by introducing Tyson to Cory Van Lew.
“When we got to Cory, we had been through probably 20 other (artists) that were really good too,” Tyson previously told nft now about selecting Van Lew to partner with. “I just liked the way I looked in his. The colors helped a lot.”
By both accounts, the creative process was rich with collaboration, with Van Lew and Tyson bouncing ideas back and forth in hopes of offering the NFT ecosystem something new and exciting. The collection, consisting of 11 1/1s and six edition pieces, sold out quickly. “The Mike Tyson NFT Collection” provides a testament to both Van Lew’s creative excellence and Tyson’s desire to take part in the future of digital culture. Be sure to check out our “Behind the Drop” mini-doc on the collaboration!
Steve Aoki is an avid part of the NFT community, but even he had to start somewhere. He began his journey into creating NFTs toward the beginning of 2021, and has collected and engaged with numerous influential projects over the year.
There have been several artists from the music industry who have found success in NFTs over the past year, with Aoki surely helping lead the way. His peers — such as 3LAU and RAC — have been NFT maximalists since before the 2021 bull market even began, and the NFT community seemed ready to accept the energy and creativity Aoki brought to the table.
From his first drop, it was clear the DJ had plans far beyond being a hobbyist in the space, giving his collectors the sense that he was here to stay by collecting, discussing and engaging with NFTs and communities outside his own. To date, Aoki has dropped two NFT collections that went beyond expectations by offering up bonus collectibles, and even a burn mechanism for collectors to destroy editions of his previous collection to receive new NFTs.
Snoop Dogg will always be one of the most legendary names in rap, but over the course of his career, he’s continued to push the boundaries of his personal brand well beyond music. At this point, he has the clout and freedom to venture into almost anything he wishes. And as a true creator of culture, it only makes sense that Snoop would get into NFTs sooner than later.
Back in March of 2021, Snoop made his entrance into the NFT space known with the announcement of an exclusive drop via Crypto.com. Although he wasn’t yet an active part of the NFT community, the news was welcomed by those who understood Snoop’s history as an entrepreneur and connoisseur of internet culture.
His first drop, “A Journey With the Dogg,” went off without a hitch, setting him up for his 4/20 collection with Chris Torres, the creator of the iconic Nyan Cat character. Snoop has continued to engage with the community, even sparking intrigue by changing his avatar to a CryptoPunk and claiming to be the creator of Cozomo de’ Medici, an avid NFT collector and influencer.
As one of the biggest innovators in the NFT space, 3LAU goes far beyond the category of “celebrity NFT drops,” but definitely deserves a mention on this list.
Although 3LAU gained a following as a producer/DJ, his main focus seems to center around how NFTs can potentially revolutionize the music industry through artist independence and community ownership. While working on an assortment of projects within the space, 3LAU has raked in accolades and respect, even earning the title of the first person to auction off a “collection of NFTs representing a best-selling album.“
With the total number of NFT collections he’s dropped nearing the double digits, 3LAU’s pioneering influence can be found throughout the NFT community, especially where music is involved. He and others from the music industry continue to set a precedent for those wishing to enter the NFT space, offering insight into how celebrities can join and engage within the NFT community, so they too might nail their NFT drops.
Photo courtesy of Cory Van Lew.