Just as the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) game is beginning to take off, Azealia Banks had to throw a curveball. The rapper just sold an audio sex tape as a blockchain NFT for over $18,000.
The 24-minute album, appropriately titled "I FUCKED RYDER RIPPS," is a recording of Banks and her boyfriend, conceptual artist and programmer Ryder Ripps, having sex. The first-ever sex tape NFT was posted on March 6 by Mr. Ripps and sold almost immediately on the Ethereum blockchain for 10.00 ETH, which is worth $18,270.80.
NFTs are essentially a type of cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin that are tied to memes, digital artworks, GIFs, or tweets instead of money. In the art market, for instance, NFT-based digital art is on the threshold of becoming the next ingeniously disruptive force. In the last month alone, however, NFT sales have amounted to almost $185 million. And Azealia Banks found the perfect (and controversially on brand) way to capitalize.
The tape was sold to an artist named Rulton Fyder, VICE reports, who now has full and sole ownership of the album. The listing describes: "This sale is for the full rights and sole access to the first audio sex-tape to be minted on the blockchain. Recorded in February 2021 by Azealia Banks and boyfriend, Ryder Ripps, this sound based artwork is sure to titillate for its full 24:22 duration. Upon purchase, a WAV file will be delivered to the buyer in addition to a 1 of 1 signed LP vinyl record. Full ownership, including limitless distribution and display rights are included in this sale. Don't miss out on this historic & sexy event."
So what might become of Banks' historic sex tape? After purchasing it, Fyder tweeted “#SexTapesAreArtworks,” then put that tweet up for sale on the blockchain as an NFT. Collectors usually buy NFTs in hopes that the crypto-art will only go up in value over time. It's easy to see how something like an Azealia Banks' sex tape and her artsy boyfriend could stir enough intrigue to go up in value and be resold someday.