Hustling to get rich has been a big part of rap culture for many years. It’s no surprise, then, that a number of high-profile rappers have become interested in cryptocurrencies.
Each of the ‘crypto rappers’ mentioned in this article has a different relationship with crypto. Some have simply invested. Some have promoted specific cryptocurrencies on social media.
Others have gone so far as launching their own crypto ‘projects’ or partnering with existing crypto businesses. And some have even released songs about crypto.
As you will see, some of these rappers’ investments look like they may have worked out very profitably. For others, things apparently didn’t go so well.
Let’s take a deep dive and find out more about some of these crypto rappers.
Jay-Z has had some high-profile involvement with crypto, and made headlines in 2022 after partnering with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to launch The Bitcoin Academy.
The free training course was held at the Marcy Projects, a public housing complex in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn where Jay-Z grew up.
Unfortunately, the programme coincided with a significant decline in the crypto market. It was no surprise to see the two billionaire founders come under fire about the project.
The pair behind The Bitcoin Academy also partnered to set up an endowment trust, named ₿trust. Jay-Z and Dorsey are ‘blind’ investors in the trust, meaning all direction will come from the appointed directors.
The trust was launched with five-hundred Bitcoin from the founders (worth about $23.6 million at the time) to support “Bitcoin development” in Africa and India.
Ghostface Killah has gone further than most with his interest in crypto, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out too well for him.
In 2017, the Wu-Tang rapper partnered with Cream Capital to launch Cream Cryptocurrency.
The dividend token was named after the Wu-Tang Clan song, ‘C.R.E.A.M.,’ which stands for Cash Rules Everything Around Me. For the token, the acronym has been changed to mean Crypto Rules Everything Around Me.
After a brief initial spike, the token plummeted in value. Cream still operates today as Cream Finance.
Young Dirty Bastard
Ghostface is not the only Wu-Tang member who has had a cryptocurrency associated with him. In 2018, Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s estate launched “Dirty Coin.”
In a statement, ODB’s son Young Dirty said, “Bitcoin is the future of money and all the fans want a part of the future of Ol’ Dirty Bastard.”
He continued, “In the past, dad’s music was ahead of its time, so it makes sense that he would be ahead of the technology of money now.”
It is difficult to find much evidence of the Dirty Coin cryptocurrency today, suggesting that the coin failed to take off.
In November 2020, Logic took to Instagram to announce that he had bought $6 million in Bitcoin.
The move was a little off-key for the acclaimed Maryland rapper, who backed up the news with comments including “f*** it” and “YOLO.” The comments suggest a fairly cavalier attitude to the investment.
The currency was priced a little below $18,000 at the time of Logic’s purchase, so assuming the story was serious, and assuming he didn’t subsequently sell off any of his Bitcoin, he will be sitting on a roughly 70% profit at the time of writing.
Lil Yachty is another rapper who got pretty deep into the crypto scene, launching his own social token named YachtyCoin in December 2020.
Yachty partnered with the Swiss crypto startup Fyooz to create the token. Although much of the rapper’s career is based in the states, Fyooz announced that the tokens could not be purchased or traded by US citizens.
In a statement to Highsnobiety, Lil Yachty said, “I’m still new and learning about the crypto world but I can tell you I partnered up with some very smart people to give my fans some dope experiences.”
At the time of writing, the Lil Yachty x Fyooz page on Fyooz’s website brings back an error message.
Yachty is amongst several of the rappers on this list who have been charged by the SEC for illegally promoting crypto without disclosing that they were being paid.
Out of all the rappers on this list, Takeoff and Rich the Kid took their love for crypto to a hilarious new level.
While many rappers have put out Tweets about crypto, or even invested in crypto, Takeoff and Rich the Kid went one step further – they wrote a track about crypto.
The 2022 song, which is literally called ‘Crypto’ features the refrain “she want the info / I wanna talk about crypto.” It’s certainly true that there was a time when every millennial man wanted to talk about crypto.
The track did not chart, but has amassed nearly 15 million Spotify streams to date, and 11 million streams on YouTube. The song has received a mixed response from critics.
Soulja Boy has been a big supporter of cryptocurrencies for a few years now. Unfortunately, his zeal for crypto has seemingly got away with him at times, landing him in trouble.
In 2018, the artist paid homage to crypto through his track ‘Bitcoin,’ in which the refrain runs “I made a hundred racks off of Bitcoin / You can catch me trappin’ with the Bitcoin / You can catch me runnin’ up the Bitcoin.”
It’s unknown exactly when Soulja Boy first purchased Bitcoin, but we can make an educated guess. Since he released the song in October 2018, we could surmise that he bought some of the cryptocurrency before its huge value increase in December 2017.
By October 2018, when Soulja Boy released the song, Bitcoin’s value had sunk to around $6k from its previous all-time-high of $19k in December 2017. If Soulja Boy was still celebrating how much money he had made in October 2018, then he must have made initial investments in early 2017, or even earlier than that.
Soulja Boy went on to promote numerous NFTs on social media. The problem is that many of the NFTs he promoted have since been identified as scams.
He has subsequently been charged by the SEC for illegally promoting cryptos without disclosing payment.
Senegalese-American rapper Akon has taken the whole crypto thing very seriously, but it’s hard to say if his investments have paid off as of yet.
In November 2020, he launched the highly-publicised Akoin, along with plans for a crypto-based city, Akon City.
The ‘Smack That’ singer and rapper intends for the coin to be the primary currency used in the new Akon City development, which will be located in the Thiès Region region of Senegal.
Inspired by the film Black Panther, Akon has said that the idea of Akon City is to be a “real-life Wakanda.” On the Akoin website, Akon City is described as “a sustainable and eco-tourism smart city in Senegal, Africa.”
Construction on the $6 billion project is supposed to commence in 2023.
At its launch, Akoin was worth $0.144. At the time of writing, it is valued at $0.006, which is a drop of -95%.
Akon is amongst the rappers who have been charged by the SEC for illegally promoting cryptos without disclosing payment.
Few rappers have been as vocal about their interest in crypto as Meek Mill. The rapper has made his passion for cryptocurrencies known through numerous posts on social media.
On 4 May 2021, he announced in an Instagram story that he had purchased $50k of Dogecoin, along with a screengrab. On the day of his purchase, the so-called “meme coin” was valued at roughly $0.541, which was close to the cryptocurrency’s all-time-high.
Later that year, Meek stated that he intends to receive future payments from his record label in Bitcoin.
At the time of writing, Dogecoin is valued at roughly $0.065, which is a -87% drop. This could mean that Meek lost up to $40k on his investment.
Razzlekhan may not be well-known within the rap scene, but she is well-known to the authorities.
Better known by her real name Heather Morgan, the entrepreneur and rapper has been convicted, along with her husband Ilya Lichtenstein, for attempting to launder thousands of Bitcoins.
On her website, Razzlekhan describes herself as “like Genghis Khan, but with more pizzazz.” On her YouTube, the description is “Rap Anthem for Misfits & Weirdos.”
On 8 February 2022, the Department of Justice confiscated 94,000 Bitcoins from Razzlekhan and her husband, with an approximate value of $3.6 billion.
Before his untimely death, Nipsey Hussle was an outspoken fan of crypto, and his investments may have done better than anyone else’s on this list.
Nipsey was an early adopter of crypto who first bought Bitcoin way back in 2013 – a very savvy move. It’s safe to say that his investment will have paid off handsomely. A mere $100 invested in Bitcoin in 2013 would be worth upwards of $50k today.
The rapper and entrepreneur also owned a stake in the Amsterdam-based crypto company Follow Coin.
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