by JR Valrey, The Minister of Information
People who were teenagers or older when the internet was introduced in 1996, should remember how innovative, ground breaking, and life changing this technology was; for the first time, the world was a click away. Over that quarter of a century span, there have been a number of inventions that have revolutionized human life, such as decentralized money aka crypto currency. Many people who jumped on board early, made millions after investing meager sums into the new technology. The time for pioneering into the technological future is here once more, with the birth of Non-Fungible Tokens aka NFT’s, which allow digital things that society thinks are important to be turned digital assets ie things like: music, social media posts, books, digital artwork, sports highlight clips, and more.
sayBLOWE is a locally based NFT company that specializes in bringing the technology to the Hip Hop community, so that artists can get paid directly for their art, instead of having to be treated like employees in a corporate machine. The Bay Area is the national home of independent music, as well as the mecca of technology, as well as a hotbed for social change, which in this case will take the shape of giving artists more autonomy over their art in the marketplace, as well as the residual income that it produces, and give fans stock in their favorite artist’s digital experience aka NFT. Check out sayBLOWE CEO Matt Barnes as he educates us on NFT’s, as well as lets people know about investment opportunities available with the sayBLOWE Mac Mall NFT Collection.
JR Valrey: What is an NFT? And what is the investment potential?
Matt Barnes: A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is an mp3, a jpeg, a gif, a movie, a tweet, the deed to your house, your medical records, anything that is or can be digital, can be an NFT. What you get when you make these digital items into NFTs is the power of the blockchain, in most cases the Ethereum blockchain. Every NFT on the Ethereum blockchain is verified to come from the original creator by thousands of anonymous computers across the planet. This makes digital ownership a reality. The mp3’s, jpegs and videos could previously never be owned because they could all be copied, and the copy is indistinguishable from the original. Put these same items on the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs and you have a verified record of where it came from, how much it cost, and how many of them there are. An NFT cannot be copied so when you own one you have the option of selling it on the blockchain, and when you do, the buyer will have those same benefits. Instead of digital items, NFTs create digital assets.
JR Valrey: What can an NFT look like in the Bay Area Hip Hop space?
Matt Barnes: So take the value that this technology brings to digital assets, and apply it to the Bay Area Hip Hop space, the mecca for independent artists. An artist who owns their works, now has control over who receives it, for how much, and how many exist. Oh by the way every time an NFT is resold the original creator automatically gets a percentage (if it’s done right). Now what you have is a major Hip Hop market who’s artists don’t have to try and create a song that 10 million will stream, so they can catch crumbs from a few mega corporations. Artists can thrive by making songs for 10 thousand real ones. NFTs offer a whole new business model that makes far more sense than the current one, and creates the opportunity for a cultural renaissance. What better place to create the new blueprint than the Bay Area?
JR Valrey: What is exactly being offered in this Mac Mall collection of NFT’S? What are the dates in which each level is opening?
Matt Barnes: And what better artist to set it off than Mac Mall? An active legend who owns the rights to his catalog that spans 25 plus years., and he was handpicked by 2pac and Mac Dre. He has done 12 solo albums, he has classic collaborations, new clothing collaborations, “The My Opinion” autobiography, and can consistently go bar for bar with any MC in the game to this day.
It is with the utmost respect for Mac Mall’s contributions to Hip Hop, that we put together an NFT campaign that truly encompasses his art and his story. The Mac Mall NFT Experience centers around his autobiography, “My Opinion”, 8 chapters of game and Hip-Hop history. We shot an unreleased sit-down conversation with Mall and three central figures in his life and career: original Romper Room Crew member Freeky D, Mall’s first manager Lelia Stineberg, and Mall’s best friend and Bay Area Hip Hop legend in his own right Ray Luv. The conversation video is broken up into 8 parts, and can only be unlocked when you own the accompanying NFT.
Mac Mall NFT Experience – Chapter 1 is available now at sayBLOWE.io/marketplace. There are 3 different versions. All 3 include the only NFT versions of the classic song My Opinion, plus access to part one of the video, and chapter one of the My Opinion eBook. ‘Rare’, ‘Ultra Rare’ and ‘Hella Rare’ digital Art separate the 3 versions.
Chapter 2 will be released January 18th and will feature the only NFTs of the classic song Sic wit Tis’, new digital art, access to part 2 of the video, and eBook. Every week starting with Chapter 2, surprise NFTs will feature live event tickets, Mac Mall exclusive experiences like a verse, video appearance, merch, event tickets, and more will be auctioned.
Collectors of all 8 chapters will be eligible for an exclusive 1 of 1 grand prize NFT which will be announced at the end of the campaign.
JR Valrey: Can you talk about your company? What do you do? Who is on your board?
Matt Barnes: sayBLOWE is an NFT innovation company specializing in bringing the technology to the Hip Hop community. We create NFTs that add value to the artist’s works. We didn’t create nor do we own the blockchain. We just use it more creatively than anyone else right now. The secret sauce of sayBLOWE is creativity and vision. Every NFT sayBLOWE drops has a plan to become an appreciating asset over time. We believe that if our community wins, we all win. We have an opportunity to create a circular economy based on what we, as a community, value. It is this vision that attracted Ray Luv to accept our first board seat. Ray has been committed to advocating for artists and community throughout his career, and has been at the forefront of the new Web 3 frontier. Ray’s role with sayBLOWE is much more than name recognition, we have some major announcements coming soon.
JR Valrey: What kind of background do you have in Blockchain technology, crypto, and NFT’S?Matt Barnes: I was born in San Francisco and come from a family dedicated to social justice. My Grandmother Asuncion Panlibuton was posthumously honored this year for her advocacy, as she was a catalyst in the fight to save the I-Hotel, a safe haven for Filipino immigrants. My mother Annie Barnes has led Sunrise Special Services for over 30 years and has been instrumental in advocating for Northern California Native American tribes, along with creating programs to serve victims of domestic violence, and the homeless population.
I was raised to make a difference, and over my 20 year career as a youth advocate and Native American social service executive, I have developed a unique view of the systems we live in, and the opportunities to create change. When I discovered Blockchain technology and the untapped potential it holds I abruptly ended my social service career. I enrolled in UC Berkley’s Blockchain for business program. I found myself shoulder to shoulder with professionals from various industries throughout the world, being led my some of the brightest minds in the Blockchain industry. Side note, I should mention here I took an extended break from social work from 2004 – 2006 to start Barely Broke Promotions, a live event company in Santa Rosa CA. The Hyphy movement was calling, and like a lot of 22 year old’s from the Bay Area I answered. So last march a Hyphy veteran, social justice advocate decided to push the boundaries of this new technology called Blockchain and sayBLOWE was born. Myself and a small team of developers hit the lab to plan what will become a new industry that gives the power to the creator, and turns fans into stakeholders.
JR Valrey: How important do you see the NFT space being in the coming years? Why?
Matt Barnes: NFTs are the internet in 1992. Every industry is already integrating Blockchain and NFT technology. Every major record label, brand, influencer, movie studio and business is planning on integrating NFTs. Those who are not will be dust in less than two years. Any entrepreneur from any industry but especially entertainment needs to be researching NFTs. I see it as a race. We all have access to this technology, some are using it purely to get rich, which should be expected. sayBLOWE is using it to create opportunities for oppressed communities.
JR Valrey: How did you meet Mac Mall? Why did you choose Mac Mall’s work to be NFT’ed? Can you tell us about it’s proven value?
Matt Barnes: Actually, the first time I met Mac Mall was when I booked the Cutthoat Committee for a show in Santa Rosa, circa 2005. He was cool as a cucumber, chillin with the crowd, and then rockin’ the stage. When I started reaching out to artists for sayBLOWE he was at the top of my list. NFTs are about creating a deeper connection with an artist’s core fans. An artist with fans who have grown up on their music will have more opportunities than any new artist. sayBLOWE NFT campaigns are for fans who want to do more than stream a song. When Mac Mall fans hear “My Opinion” it evokes emotion. There is a built-in connection. That is the value we tap into. I would rather own those emotions and memories, than a stock in some company, especially if I can own it as an appreciating digital asset.
JR Valrey: How will NFT’S interact with the Metaverse?
Matt Barnes: The Metaverse is misunderstood right now and doesn’t exist yet. The metaverse is an idea that we will all interact in one virtual world. Right now we have several virtual worlds, some are decentralized on the Blockchain and some are just extensions of corporations. With that said NFTs are able to transfer to any virtual world and will be key to the creation of the metaverse. Digital wearables, game ‘skins’ and items, music, avatars, and more will be NFTs in the metaverse, and sayBLOWE will be at the forefront.
JR Valrey: Is your company working on any other artist NFT’S?
Matt Barnes: Besides Mac Mall’s upcoming projects and new music we have some face-melting collaborations set to be announced on January 22’. I would like to announce in this article, we have officially partnered with Moneybagg Yo and SCM/Deliver Tree to launch their first NFTs. Details will be announced to the sayBLOWE Discord community.
JR Valrey: How could people get more info about the Mac Mall NFT offering? How could people stay updated with all NFT’S that your company is offering?
Matt Barnes: We have launched Mac Mall’s chapter 1 NFTs at: www.sayBLOWE.io/marketplace. www.sayBLOWE.io has links to our Discord channel. Discord allows us to create a community with more of a connection than IG and Twitter so we are encouraging everyone to join us there. We provide detailed assistance and education on NFTs and how to get involved.