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Grandmaster Flash Has a Metaverse Message

A new trademark application from the hip-hop legend signals moves into virtual apparel, music, and collectibles backed by NFTs.

It’s possible that hip-hop would still exist without the bewitching touch of one Joseph Saddler, better known as Grandmaster Flash. But it wouldn’t be very good.

Born in Barbados and raised in the Bronx, the man went on to become a true innovator and hitmaker behind the turntable. He and his Furious Five first announced themselves to a worldwide audience with their 1982 platinum album The Message, and while 40 years have passed since Melle Mel first wondered how he keeps from going under, the group’s leader proved with a new trademark application that he’s not done learning new tricks.

As noted by attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property, Grandmaster Flash submitted paperwork with the US Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 28 that signal potential moves into virtual apparel, collectibles, and music, as well as NFTs and an online marketplace in which all of it will live.

In other words, the Grandmaster is taking his act to the metaverse.

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Trademark request:

“GRANDMASTER FLASH”

Description:

“The mark consists of standard characters, without claim to any particular font style, size, or color.”

What it’s for:
  • Downloadable virtual goods, namely, computer programs featuring audio and recording products, footwear, hats, sweatshirts, shirts, backpacks, tickets, toys, and art for use in online virtual worlds
  • Downloadable audio recordings featuring containing artwork, still images, and photographs featuring Grandmaster Flash and other entertainers and musicians authenticated by non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
  • Downloadable image files containing artwork, still images, and photographs featuring Grandmaster Flash and Grandmaster Flash related collectables authenticated by NFTs
  • Downloadable multimedia file containing artwork relating to Grandmaster Flash and other entertainers and musicians authenticated by NFTs
  • Downloadable multimedia file containing artwork, text, audio, and video relating to Grandmaster Flash and other entertainers and musicians and related collectables authenticated by non-fungible tokens (NFTs); Downloadable multimedia file containing audio relating to Grandmaster Flash and other entertainers and musicians authenticated by NFTs
  • Downloadable multimedia file containing text relating to Grandmaster Flash and other entertainers and musicians authenticated by NFTs
  • Downloadable multimedia file containing video relating to Grandmaster Flash and other entertainers and musicians authenticated by NFTs
  • Downloadable music files authenticated NFTs

There are still hoops to jump through (both conceptual and legal) in order for NFT-authenticated music to exist sustainably and actually make sense. But along with high-profile artists like John Legend, Grandmaster Flash sees an exciting future in store regarding blockchain technology and its potential to help us rethink the modern music marketplace.

And if this Web3 move helps one of the rap game’s all-time greats — did you know the Furious Five were the first hip-hop group ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? — connect with new audiences, well, that’s just an added bonus.

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