Image via Universal Music Group
NFT

KINGSHIP: The Bored Ape Band Taking Music to the Metaverse

There’s a whole new musical group at UMG label 10:22PM — and its members are all collectible NFT characters from Bored Ape Yacht Club.

On Friday, Universal Music Group forced us all to rethink some things. In fact, you may as well start calling them Metaversal Music Group.

Typically, when an unknown artist signs to a smaller imprint of a larger label, it’s not the biggest of news — especially when that artist has not generated a single recording to date. In fact, KINGSHIP didn’t even formally exist until it was confirmed that they had signed with 10:22PM, Universal’s cutting-edge label powered by blockchain technology.

So what’s the significance of KINGSHIP? Well, its members are entirely characters from the wildly popular (and lucrative) Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT platform: one Mutant Ape and three Bored Apes, to be exact, all ready to take music to the reality of the virtual better known as the metaverse.

Can’t wait for the Straight Outta Yacht Club album to drop.

Twenty years ago, Gorillaz showed us that a digital band of apes could be not just a real thing, but a thriving, fascinating, mixed media franchise more or less in its own category. KINGSHIP takes things a step further — it’s not just a music project. Thanks to the sheer agility of blockchain technology, 10:22PM has plans to incorporate virtual events, live experiences, and new digital collectibles into this first-of-its-kind project.

As 10:22PM founder Celine Joshua said in an official release:

“Creating KINGSHIP has been incredibly fun and imaginative. I started 10:22PM to push the boundaries of innovation in the music industry and with KINGSHIP, we’re literally inventing what’s possible in real time. Just as we would with any artist or creator, my team and I will work with KINGSHIP to sharpen their vision and develop their unique sound. Each member of the group has their own story and personality that influences and contributes to KINGSHIP’s overall narrative. Through music and events across the metaverse, we will bring the Apes in KINGSHIP to life by building communities and utility, and entertaining audiences around the world.”

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Lanched in April, Bored Ape Yacht Club consists of a limited mint of 10,000 collectible ape non-fungible token art pieces, some of which have sold for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on the resale market. The spinoff Mutant Ape Yacht Club debuted in August with 20,000 NFT offerings. KINGSHIP specifically features one three Bored Apes (including members of the super-rare, super-valuable Bluebeam and Golden Fur subsets) and one Mutant Ape from the collection of Jimmy McNeils, a.k.a j1mmy.eth, an avid NFT collector and investor.

“This deal is a leading example of how powerful commercial rights are for collectible NFT projects and their collectors,” McNeils said. “I’m incredibly excited to explore this new area of NFT ownership with Celine Joshua and 10:22!”