Late musician MF DOOM is the latest artist to be swept up in the NFT boom that has been disrupting the art market this week.
Yesterday, signed, one-off editions of the augmented reality versions of DOOM's signature mask, were auctioned off by Illust Space where they sold for between 9.5000 ethereum (approximately $18,000) and 450.0000 ethereum (approximately $857,000) each – with 10 percent of the sales going back to MF DOOM's estate. Mask holders can also contribute their own individual donations.
It’s not the first time MF DOOM masks have been auctioned off by the NFT marketplace. Prior to his passing in October 2020, MF DOOM previewed augmented reality versions of his iconic masks on Instagram, the video showed them being "worn" by everyone from Jack Nicholson in The Shining, to Tyler, the Creator, Kim Kardashian, and even the Mona Lisa. Then a total of 11 exclusive digital masks were sold as NFTs at the time, including one titled "Black Sludge," which sold for upwards of $16,700 (or 9.5 Ether) where 90 percent of proceeds went to the musician’s estate.
The auction taps into one of the art world’s current biggest trends, taking the form of an NFT (or non-fungible token, an asset with a unique digital identity). Although NFTs and the subsequent explosion in interest have been dominating headlines this week, it's interesting to note that MF DOOM was already selling AR masks as an NFT back in October, just a couple of days before his passing.
The thing about NFTs is, thanks to the "smart contract" which the blockchain technology is built on, every time these masks are re-sold in the future, 10 percent of the fee will automatically land in DOOM's cryptowallet, benefitting his estate and family with extended royalties, potentially forever. As per his prolific career, DOOM was well ahead of the curve here.