Just before his death on October 31, 2020, MF DOOM auctioned off a collection of augmented reality MF DOOM masks as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). A mask that hadn’t sold during the first round, the “Black Sludge” mask, is currently being auctioned on the Illust Space AR marketplace to benefit MF DOOM’s estate. In addition, many masks initially bought by collectors will be resold, and 10 percent of those proceeds will go to his family.
There are seven signed MF DOOM masks being auctioned in total, including four green metal masks, the black sludge mask, a green sludge mask and a mummy mask. The black sludge mask auction concludes Friday, March 12 at 10:00 p.m. PST, but some of the other masks will remain available for a whole week. The mask prices presently range from 2.4 ETH (Ethereum) to 450 ETH, which currently converts to approximately $4,300 and $815,000, respectively.
MF DOOM’s original mask auction was the first successful augmented reality NFT sale back in October, according to the press release. NFTs have been getting a lot more buzz recently. They’re a type of ‘blockchain standard,’ or a system that records cryptocurrency transactions. NFTs use smart contracts to attribute rights to digital artwork and other unique items so that each NFT can be bought, sold and traded like physical artwork while still retaining certification of its provenance after each trade.
The idea of returning 10 percent of proceeds to MF DOOM’s estate is to establish a new type of royalties for artists who sell their work through NFTs. Since NFTs can massively increase in value upon resale, MF DOOM’s family intends to set the precedence that it’s only fair for the original artists and their estates to receive some percentage of future profits.
Other artists are beginning to auction off their music as NFTs. Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda was the first major label artist to auction his song “Happy Endings” as one back in February. Kings of Leon auctioned off their latest album When You See Yourself in March. Grimes didn’t auction her music initially, but she did make a lot of money off selling digital artwork as NFTs.