Photographers are finding a new market for their work with NFTs–non-fungible tokens–and some are even experiencing life-changing creative and financial freedom.
Visual artist Enrico Moses comes from a creative background of street photography, in which he has found comfort telling his stories. He utilized his experience to conceptualize his idea of preserving the historical culture of hip-hop through Flash Mints, a visual documentative NFT platform.
“Hip-hop is something that we as a culture we cherish. I think that we’re still learning so much more about the history of hip-hop because it’s so new,” Moses told AfroTech.
“It’s something that was born recently in the ’80s and really developed in the ’90s. And here we are today in this multi-billion dollar industry. I think that these images are preserving this history that we’re all even discovering how much it means to us.”
Flash Mints features collections from esteemed hip-hop and street photographers including Chi Modu, Jamil GS, T. Eric Monroe, Ricky Powell, and Yaasmyn Fula. In addition to paying homage to one of hip-hops original innovators in its name, Grandmaster Flash, the collection celebrates the pioneers who paved the way for future generations. The platform also provides accessibility to moments of history that influenced hip-hop culture today.
What’s notable about NFTs is that they prove ownership, and has become a space for the artist to delve deeper inside their works and amplify its longevity.
Among the group of legendary photographers, Monroe has captured iconic hip-hop artists from the ’90s such as Biggie, Tupac, The Fugees, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He’s committed his work to preserving historical moments in hip-hop history, through powerful photography and nostalgic storytelling.
“It’s our job as the collective of holding this history and that we share the best of the best so we can tell the best stories,” Monroe said to the outlet. “I’m glad to be alive in this moment—rest in peace to Chi and Ricky — and that me, Jamil, and [Yaasmyn Fula] can all tell these beautiful stories of reality. Like I get to learn about Tupac before he was known as a rapper. That’s what I truly want to know. And I look forward to helping in any way to push our story forward in a right and beautiful way.”
Flash Mints encourages all photographers to create and monetize their work on their own terms, and allows them to authenticate their work, all through blockchain.