The non-fungible token craze will continue with rare photos of a rap legend who never lived to see high-speed internet. According to Rolling Stone, rare photos of Tupac Shakur from the late rapper’s debut album release party will soon be sold as NFTs on the OpenSea platform. The flicks are being released by the original photographer, Lawrence “Loupy D” Dotson, who took the photos at the party for 2Pacalypse Now in Los Angeles in 1992.
There will be 17 photos released, as well as one “Super NFT” collage of all 17 for a total of 18 NFTs. Each will come with a signed, framed print, and part of the proceeds will be used to plant trees in Shakur’s hometown — although it isn’t specified whether that means New York (where he was born), Oakland (where he grew up), or LA (where he became a superstar). Dotson explained how the photo collection came to be to Rolling Stone:
“I bought a disposable, black and white 35mm camera from the Thriftys on the corner of La Brea and Rodeo,” he said. “Later that night I got to Glam Slam, Prince’s old club on Boylston Street downtown. I couldn’t wait to see this brotha perform. I loved the energy he put out on stage as a backup dancer for Digital Underground; the same with his performance in the video when he dropped the verse on ‘Same Song.’ I knew that he was going to give it up that night for his debut release party. Surprisingly, there weren’t many people at the show: mostly industry execs and a few heads from the underground community.”
He says he never published the photos and remained unsure of what to do with them, although they came in handy in his job as a substitute teacher as a reward for students. Now, he says, he wants to “create a traveling exhibit of the collection” and show them worldwide.