The popularity of NFTs or non-fungible tokens launched into popularity in the third quarter of 2021, with trading reaching 11.7 billion by the fourth quarter. The largest NFT marketplace, Opensea, broke records in January of this year with $4.8 billion worth of NFTs sold. Despite volatile patterns in prices, NFTs shows no sign of slowing down. With the Metaverse in its infancy, NFTs are central in providing a way to own virtual assets such as fashion, art, businesses, and homes.
In 2019 Fortnite generated $1 billion in-game skins on the avatar marketplace, validating the demand for collectible fashion within the Metaverse, opening the door for fashion brands and designers to capitalize on the NFT market. Currently, gaming skins for avatars are a $40 billion market and are expected to rise to $265.4 billion by 2026.
One of the first rappers to leave his imprint on the Metaverse through the lucrative NFT fashion skins market is Lil Durk. Known for his raw lyricism, successful mixtapes under his label Only The Family, and now his ‘7220’ NXTG3NZ NFT digital sneaker, Durk has expanded his business portfolio and legacy with his new digital wearables company NXTG3NZ. Co-founded by Lil Durk, Satoshi Designs, and Nexus, the NXTG3NZ digital wearables are set to revolutionize the footwear industry in the Metaverse. “The power has shifted to the artists and their fans with Blockchain tech. I want to not only be a successful rapper/entrepreneur but a powerhouse voice in the metaverse and NFT community, at the forefront of this movement,” says Lil Durk.
NXTG3NZ is designed by the legendary Devonte’ Black and will have 10,000 tokens in total and be used on Avatars across the digital realm while still proving ownership in the physical. Included in Lil Durk’s 7220 NXTG3NZ road map, Genesis token holders will get the opportunity to design a pair of sneakers with Devonte and the NFT’s elite creative team. “We’re here to show the world you don’t have to be a genius or have 5 degrees to learn the NFT and Crypto space. As we understand the process, we’re teaching the community in terms they understand. We can all win together!” says Stally (CEO of Satoshi Designs).
Accompanied by his visual creator, Joe Moore, Lil Durk sat for an interview to talk about his decision to enter into NFT and crypto space. A family man, Durk wants to create a legacy for his family through NFTs and the Metaverse. Moore said this regarding Lil Durk’s success and new company NXTG3NZ. “I have been working with Durk since 2015, so it’s always great to see him reach new heights and pursue great opportunities.”
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
For(bes) The Culture: How does it feel to have your NXTG3NZ billboard on NASDAQ?
Lil Durk: It feels good. Having that NASDAQ billboard is big to me. It is a major accomplishment out of everything I’ve done, and I appreciate every moment.
For(bes) The Culture: co-founding NXTG3NZ with Satoshi Designs and Nexus is a whole new realm, not just for you as an entertainer but also as an entrepreneur. Why did you decide to make that shift into the NFT and crypto space?
Lil Durk: I paid attention to the NFT market, and I didn’t see much fashion. I saw art. Being into fashion and being known for my style, I felt like the fashion part of NFTs was missing, and being one of the first to fuse them together would be perfect.
For(bes) The Culture: How do you think NFTs and blockchain tech within the Metaverse will change your presence in hip hop? Will there be Lil Durk concerts in the Metaverse?
Lil Durk: There are a lot of non-believers when it comes to the Metaverse, but it’s proven to be the future. We’ve been working on a deal with Grand Theft Auto, where we will have our own world within the game, and I will record myself doing videos along with live concerts. So we are staying ahead, and the world will have to catch up.
For(bes) The Cultures: What is next for you business wise?
Lil Durk: Outside of the Metaverse, what’s next is continuing to work and getting my goals together. I want to do a movie and other things that people wouldn’t expect from me. So while everyone’s sleeping, I’m up looking for the next thing.
For(bes) The Culture: How do you know which Metaverse to invest in?
Lil Durk: You really don’t know what will work. It’s about taking a risk and having people around you believing in the same thing as you.
For(bes) The Culture: Was partnering with Satoshi Designs and Nexus to found NXTG3NZ an organic move for you?
Lil Durk: Two of the people who brought this idea to me are like my brothers, who have been with me from the start. I was learning at the same time that they introduced this idea to me. So when Satoshi Designs and Nexus broke everything down to me, I saw their vision. I knew this was going to win because there is nothing like it.
For(bes) The Culture: What do you want the legacy of Lil Durk to be?
Lil Durk: That I’m a family man. I want to turn all hate into love. I want to be known for doing good for people in poverty, taking care of our schools, and doing what needs to be done to get young kids to the next level. I don’t want to be known as the Hollywood guy that didn’t do anything positive with his influence. A lot of people talk about it, but I’m showing it through my actions.
Learn more about how to grab a pair of the 7220 Digital NFT Sneaker by visiting NXTG3NZ.