MBW Reacts is a series of short comment pieces from the MBW team. They are our ‘quick take’ reactions – through a music biz lens – to major entertainment news stories.
Snoop Dog has always been an early adopter.
Back in 2013, when Instagram had over a billion fewer users than it does today, and had recently come under new ownership of Facebook, Snoop Dogg released Snoopify, a photo sharing and editing app that lets users add Snoop-inspired stickers to their photos.
Speaking at the time, Snoop Dogg noted: “Now that everyone is heavy on social media sharing photos, I wanted to create an app that would allow my fans to add fun visuals to their photos and Snoopify themselves.”
Many other subsequent investments underline Snoop Dogg’s astute ability to back the right horse, just as it’s on the cusp of turning into a unicorn.
One such investment was in Reddit.
In 2014, Snoop Dogg joined a $50 million investment round in the blogging/forum platform, which valued the company at around $500 million.
As of August 2021, Reddit’s value was $10 billion.
Snoop Dogg’s investments in the cannabis business have been equally wise.
In 2015, the year before weed was approved to be legalized for recreational use in California (in November 2016), Snoop Dogg co-founded Los Angeles-based Casa Verde Capital, a VC fund for the cannabis industry, which has since gone on to invest in several prominent cannabis-focused companies.
Casa Verde closed its debut fund at $45 million and its second investment fund closed on $100 million in December 2020.
Today, Snoop Dogg has turned his attention to the lucrative world of NFTs.
His recently-announced plan to turn Death Row into an ‘NFT label’ would have come as no surprise to anyone following the rap legend’s NFT interests over the past 12 months.
One of Snoop’s first NFT sales landed in April last year, early on in the NFT boom, with his “Journey of the Dogg” auction seeing one collectable – a one-of-a-kind digital artwork called “Death Row” – selling for over $100,000.
By September, Snoop Dog claimed that he had an alias; anonymous NFT art collector called Cozomo de’ Medici, who, at the time of the reveal, had a digital collection worth over $17 million.
Snoop then partnered with metaverse gaming platform The Sandbox to sell ‘The Snoopverse Early Access Pass’, giving buyers access to “all of the Snoopverse experiences before anyone else”.
The Snoopverse is Snoop Dogg’s own branded world within The Sandbox, and there were only 5,000 early access passes minted. Each one costs $1,685.25, and according to The Sandbox there are currently 1,012 owners, which means that the sale has generated over $1.7 million so far.
And then Snoop hit the NFT jackpot: earlier this month, he sold over $44 million worth of ‘Stash Box’ NFTs for his new album BODR in under a week, after releasing 10,000 of the limited edition NFTs via the Gala Music platform.
Snoop Dogg’s latest crypto-related release arrived just last week, again via The Sandbox: a collection of 10,000 programmatically generated Snoop Dog Avatar NFTs called ‘the Doggies’.
The avatars grant their owners access to virtual events and concerts, and lets them play games, “hang out with friends, and explore the metaverse like a boss.”
One of these ‘Doggies’ NFTs costs 150 SAND, the crypto currency used within the Sandbox.
At the time of writing (10am PT on February 28), one ‘SAND’ is worth the equivalent USD $3.07. So to buy just one ‘Doggie’ at that 150 SAND price-tag would set you back $460.50.
For multiplication table fans, that $460.50 price tag means that if Snoop Dogg and the Sandbox were to sell every one of the 10,000 ‘Doggies’, the sale would generate over $4.6 million.
“The investment will be worth it,” The Sandbox assures us in a media release announcing Snoop’s sale.
Just some of Snoop Dogg’s other NFT projects include a digital portrait sold via SuperRare, an NFT drop on Solana, and the ‘Masterminds of Hip-Hop’ exclusive NFT project, with many others undoubtedly yet to be announced.
“We on the cusp of a digital revolution,” tweeted Snoop Dog in December. “Wake up n get it.”Music Business Worldwide