Snoop Dogg and Eminem performed as Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs at the VMAs. Sit down and we’ll explain.


MTV’s annual Video Music Awards took place on Sunday, and popular artists such as Blackpink, Nicki Minaj and Flo Milli performed as musicians usually do: in person. But the performance that most buzzed—or perhaps just confused—viewers came from rap veterans Eminem and Snoop Dogg. The two first appeared on stage sprawled on a black couch, the latter taking a comically oversized joint, before the venue’s giant screen showed them falling head over heels into a spiral that transformed them into two of those Bored Ape. avatars and transported them to, you guessed it, the metavers.

So, uh, how did this come about? Who exactly thought it would be entertainment gold to turn these guys into rapping monkeys? Is America over? Allow me to help you understand all this.


I know? On Thursday, the official Instagram account for the VMAs announced that Eminem and Snoop Dogg would be teaming up for an “EPIC” performance of their most recent collaboration, “From the D 2 the LBC,” at the ceremony. Neither of the two had taken the stage at the VMA in a while: Eminem last appeared at the awards in 2010, Snoop in 2005. The two also hadn’t done a song together since 2000’s “Bitch Please II,” from The Marshall Mathers LPand their last joint VMA appearance was in 1999. So for the longtime fans of the two, who would have last seen them together on the Death Row-themed Super Bowl halftime show or through the video for “LBC this was a big moment.

But… monkeys?

Yes, we are coming. Both rappers are still prolific songwriters, but they are also heavy crypto world enthusiasts. When the craze about non-functioning tokens, or NFTS, took off last year, Snoop and Em quickly got into the game themselves. The latter released his first token collection, ShadyCon, for sale in April 2021, featuring hundreds of comic book-like NFT drawings themed around his greatest songs. In December of that year, he also secured an NFT from the infamous Bored Ape Yacht Collective for about $450,000 worth of cryptocurrency, after which he changed his social media profile pictures to his new cartoon primate.

Snoop Dogg has delved even further into Web3. Last September, he went all-in on NFTs and virtual reality by starring as an online trader, turning his own profile photos into weed-brand Nyan Cats, and giving some fans access to a digital “banquet hall” decorated with all sorts of pixelated Snoop memorabilia. . In December, he also got a Bored Ape, and in February, just a few days before his Super Bowl billing, he bought Death Row Records, the legendary rap label that has released classics like Dr. Dre’s had released. the chronic as well as Snoop’s first full-length solo projects. After pulling those albums off streaming services, Snoop publicly expressed his plans to turn Death Row into an NFT-focused label that will also “take artists through the metaverse,” though details of those efforts are still scarce.

Snoop also released the album in May Metaverse: The NFT Drop, Vol. 1, which requires no metaverse know-how or NFT ownership to stream. A month later, he dropped “From the D 2 the LBC” featuring Eminem at Apefest 2022, premiering the video for attendees of the Bored Ape Yacht Club event.

So they really want to make NFTs a part of their music, huh?

Indeed. As you can see, the concept for the video “From the D 2 the LBC” kicks off the same way as the performance of the VMA: Em and Snoop team up in the studio, the latter puffing on a ridiculous stump and letting the smoke in. Floating Eminem’s Headroom. The overpowering high takes the two into an animated version of their hometowns – Detroit and Long Beach, California – which they inhabit in the form of their NFT avatars, rapping syncopated verses that sound as bored as their monkeys.

Can’t they?

It seems like! Yuga Labs, Bored Ape’s parent company, is featured in the credits of the “LBC” video alongside Nathan Love, a New York-based animation studio that has since partnered with an NFT intellectual property licensing website operated by Bored Ape itself. Obviously, Bored Ape is eager to establish an IP gold mine for its NFTs with the help of some of our biggest celebrities.

So how did the MTV thing happen?

According to MTV News itself, the network partnered with Yuga Labs to bring the song to the awards ceremony. The same day MTV officially announced the live performance, it tweeted that the exhibition was inspired by Otherside, a developing metaverse platform owned by Yuga Labs that has been teased for months. (It also sparked a blockchain fiasco in April when “deeds” for exclusive land from Otherside were opened for purchase, sparking a demand that pushed up costs and burned millions of dollars worth of crypto.)

Em-and-Snoop’s song and performance seem to be part of Otherside’s gradual rollout. Bored Ape was a heavy presence in all promotional posts leading up to the performance, and the official Twitter account for Otherside sent a thank you to the rappers for their “quick trip‘ during the VMAs, meaning all the colors and monkeys and animations played on screen that night were all thanks to that very metaverse platform.

But what exactly did we see in that performance?

Well, you saw virtual versions of Snoop and Eminem, first as real-life anthropomorphized video game-style performers, then as rapping versions of their respective Bored Apes, wardrobes and matching fur. They appear on all sorts of, er, weird flags and cars and spaceships and bare backgrounds, unlike the Detroit- and Long Beach-specific visual details from the original video. Towards the end, the two IRL rappers “wake up” onstage from their weed-induced sleep and metaverse trip on stage, launching a live sing-along of the song’s chorus as 3D-animated versions of their monkeys hover above the stage. towering and bowing their heads in approval. . (Fortunately, no Tupac hologram appeared.) A behind the scenes video tweeted by Eminem shows the rapper performing his verse in a dark room, tracking his movements to accompany those of his animated monkey in the VMAs video.

But why?

I don’t know! And obviously Eminem fans don’t really know either, considering how unfortunate comments on the rapper’s subreddit followed the VMAs. (A representative post reads, “First time in years I’ve seen everyone here agree on one thing. This NFT shit he’s doing is straight ass.”) Bored Ape Evangelists loved itand hope this will bring even more integration of real life with metaverse monkeys coming. They may also hope this boosts NFT sales, which have been stagnant throughout the year, causing Bored Ape values ​​to plummet despite the brand’s celebrity status.

Did Eminem and Snoop win anything at the VMAs for this?

No. “From the D 2 the LBC” was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Song, but lost to Nicki Minaj’s “Do We Have a Problem?”, and they weren’t even nominated for Best Metaverse Performance (a real thing), whose honor went to Blackpink. Better luck next time, guys. In the meantime, you can get special edition ape NFTs based on number and execution, if that’s your speed.

Is the future of rap all cartoon monkeys now?

Actually, it is past.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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