Music and NFTs intersect in a variety of fun and innovative ways. Dirtybird Flight Club is a unique generative NFT project that is reaching new heights and redefining what the music industry means in our day and age. In this episode, our hosts are joined by Claude VonStroke, the dreamer, disrupter, and doer behind Dirtybird Records. Join in to find out how Claude’s rebel mindset and love for the grind makes him a perfect fit for trailblazing in NFTs. Plus, in our hot topics, find out how NFT Genius is continuing to change the NFT game with Rebel Rabbits and the Gaia Marketplace.
Listen to the podcast here
Claude VonStroke Of DirtyBird On Musical Flight Club NFTs With Real-World Utility, Plus: Tom Brady’s NFT Venture, Solana’s MonkeyBall $3Mil Raise, And More…
All you NFT curious readers, check out this episode for the scoop on how the Dirtybird Flight Club music NFT project is reaching new heights.
What vinyl record our guest had the foresight to purchase at eleven years old.
This episode’s dreamer, disrupter and doer on this sponsored spotlight episode is Claude VonStroke, Founder of Dirtybird Records, an independent electronic music record label, festival producer and collective based out of the West Coast. Claude is a renowned DJ, producer and innovator who launched Dirtybird Flight Club, a unique generative NFT project that we will know all about on this episode. Welcome, Claude.
Thank you for having me.
We’re all huge consumers and in some cases, producers of music. This is one of those ones that when it hit the calendar, we’re super excited about it. We love talking to any and everything music here. Music and NFTs started to intersect in all these crazy ways.
We’ve had many shows on the power of event ticketing. We had YellowHeart on talking about all the challenges in the ticketing industry. You have the experience. You’ve been doing your festival for so long. You put all this together and said, “Let’s disrupt things.”
We know and we’ve heard the intersection of visual art and music has always been a part of Dirtybird but now we got Dirtybird Flight Club. How did the origins of Dirtybird and also your relationship with Birdcap influenced this project?
I have been hiring a semi-famous or famous muralist or painter every year for many years to do all the album cover art for our label. I hire them for one year and they do anywhere between 12 to 25 covers. Those are all the music releases on our label. I always buy paintings from them. My house is full with all this wacky artwork that I like. I like a very certain thing. I found all these artists in reading Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, IG or going to art galleries or Thinkspace.
I also collect comic books from the ’80s, like old Marvel X-Men. I’ve been running this record label for many years. All these things came together and I decided that the best person to do a generative NFT would be Birdcap, who did our art in 2020 because he is very quick and great at characters. It looked like it was going to work. He was amazing on this project. He did a great job.
You’re saying that he operates pretty quickly. What was it like from inception to you getting into that spot where you’re ready to share it with the world?
This is how you do a project and sometimes you’re banging your head against the wall and you can’t get anything to work out. It’s like, “I could maybe force this project to happen.” It’s brutal. I had that experience the first time I tried to break into NFTs but then this time, I said, “Darn it.” I came back six months later and I’m like, “I want to get into this space. The generative thing seems like a good thing.” All the stuff came together so serendipitously.
I was at our festival and the woman that does all of my creative direction on my weird stages and stuff was like, “My boyfriend programmed this whole NFT.” He ended up being the guy that did Robotos. He hired him to do it. I called Birdcap. He was shopping for Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle statues in the comic book store. I was like, “You’re the exact right guy for this.”
He was like, “I’ll do it if you explain to me what you’re talking about. How do you get your caveman money into the internet? I don’t get it.” All these people started coming in from all these different places. The two people that run our Discord, I met backstage because they won a giveaway to come see me and Green Velvet play in the Brooklyn Mirage. They were super into NFTs and I started talking to them backstage. It was crazy.
Isn’t that reflective of the entire world of NFTs ultimately? Everything we’re experiencing in this ecosystem is so collaborative, serendipitous and free-flowing in different ways. Crap gets done without some crazy project plans or weird Gantt chart. Time and again we talk to people that have launched projects and we get a similar story to what you conveyed to us. It’s amazing.
0N1 Force came on the show and was talking about how they casually all got together. It’s momentum. Is that similar or different than how some of your music production has gone in the past?
My music production is different because this is like making a film almost. This is a group effort and my music is much more of a me-effort in my studio but the releasing of music is a massive group effort. In some ways, it’s very similar. The record label and the marketing team are all similar to this. I did have a lot of experience but I’ll also tell you that the first time I tried to do this, it didn’t work. I was trying to get on that first Nifty Gateway 101 thing, make my stuff too perfect and get everyone to come. I still have these. I’m going to eventually release all these amazing funds but no one responds.
You can’t get anyone at those companies to respond because everyone is hitting them up. Right away, I didn’t like it because we’re used to bootstrapping, going renegade and rocking it. Having these crazy gatekeepers is so annoying. At Nifty and SuperRare, you can’t even get anyone on the phone. It was so gatekeeper-y that it was a big mess for me. It didn’t work. I didn’t get it out. I was like, “Crap NFTs.” I kept watching it and I was like, “I love NFTs.” I can’t say, “Crap NFTs.”
We’ve got our first drop coming out soon. It was one of those things where it was like, “How much polish do we add? How do we do this?” We’re methodical entrepreneurs that even if we’re agile, you’ve got to hit the gas and go. One of the things we love about them and I’m sure you can relate to is that there are little packages of surprises. You’re able to do cool things for your fans that support you in a direct way. We hear there’s some exciting news that you’re airdropping some unreleased music to folks that have a bird.
We did it. At our festival campout, we had a special secret party for bird holders. The whole collection came out five days before our festival, which is insane on our part workload-wise. We flew Birdcap to campout and secretly surprised made a party that I DJed at in a different area. Bird holders came and they got to screen-print this one-on-one artwork that he made just for that party. They had screen-printed it at the party. They were hanging them up and drying on clothespins like they’re drying their underwear. While I played a hip-hop set, they were finishing a huge mural in real-time this whole time. It was cool.
I was curious. What other utility comes with being a member of the Flight Club?
The music release came out a few days after we got back. We airdropped everyone a version of that screen-print. It’s a little bit edited to be more towards the music release. There were 5 or 6 tracks that did not come out anywhere else that were unlockable for that airdrop. Only the bird holders got that music release. We’re going to be doing a bunch of that stuff. I’m going to be deejaying in New York at NFT.NYC.
We have 150 spaces for wallet holders. We’re having a mint sellout party that we promised. We would have them in LA on November 6th, 2021. That’s for bird holders. That’s at the outside part of the academy. I don’t know if anybody lives in LA but that is also happening. Even though we’re doing a lot of IRL, I do want to try to get it into the metaverse a little bit more because IRL is hard. We will integrate this into the things that we’re already doing but making parties for this is difficult.
We’ll connect you with our boy Eric that did Rita own his metaverse concert. He has done a lot of metaverse concerts. That’s a great utility to add as well. You’ve got fans all over the country that can’t always make it to a campout.
That’s the number one complaint about doing an IRL. Nobody can go from India.
We have the ability to rent out your NFT for an event that’s coming out. Those folks can still benefit in some way.
That’s a cool idea. I need to get into that more like, “I can rent out or sell someone my pass for a day or something.” That’s interesting. I did it in the Tie Dye Ninjas dojo two days after our mint and that was fun. One thing I know that we’re going to be able to do this is because during COVID, Dirtybird created eleven shows. It was 29 hours a week of Twitch DJ live-streaming. I learned OBS from top to bottom and I know everything about streaming. We’re going to get into that.
It’s a little bit intimidating at first. Congratulations on that. Streaming is weird when you first get into it because you’re like, “I got to put this there, the passwords and keys.”
This guy, Subset Mark is the best at streaming ever. If anyone needs help in streaming, hit up Subset. He walked me through the whole thing from day one.
I have to give a shout-out here. Speaking of serendipity too, Josh and I have a mutual friend named James Mandell. He is the guy who sang the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ theme song. Somebody had to sing it.
Birdcap is obsessed with The Turtles. He has 250 statues in his house.
Dirtybird NFT: Birdcap is obsessed with The Turtles. He has 250 statues in his house.
We’ll have to hook him up with James. Maybe he will get a signed item or something like that. I wanted to ask you about the 9,090 NFTs from Dirtybird. They sold out in three minutes. It’s an important success for the project. Congratulations. How do you plan on continuing to grow your community of collectors and fans? How can we get our trees to sell out in three minutes? The first question is the question there.
The second question is important because, in music, I’m always doing it myself and relying on my own little mind but in this world, I don’t think that would have worked if we hadn’t teamed up with Tie Dye, Space Punks and Wicked Cranium. We befriended all of these other teams. They were giving us advice and sending their people to our mint.
If you can get anything like 3 or 4 other projects to be like, “Check out this project,” it creates that whole little thing that you need, which is that little FOMO buzz for the twenty minutes that your time is up. If you can get that little bump of buzz, I feel like it will work. Who knows? I feel like there are going to be 50 projects a day in 2022 and that might not work in 6 months.
That was something fun we noted about Frogland who came on the show. Wicked Cranium is one of their partners as well as the Gutter Cats and the Gutter Rats. Those projects have a lot of foundations. They decided to make a little metaverse called New Pangea, where all of these different NFTs can play and have land.
Wicked Cranium was my first NFT. This guy, Jack, who is advising us works at Wicked Cranium and I bought one. I ended up deejaying at one of their parties too in a room next to Canter’s Deli with 50 people. I went over it. I was like, “Give me a Wicked Cranium set and I’ll play the set. It will be fun.”
The first part of my question there is the ways that you plan on continuing to engage with fans and holders. What do you got in the works? What thoughts do you have on that?
You have to have a roadmap to get anybody to even look at your project. We’re about 2/3 or 3/4 away through our roadmap. We’re developing our 2.0. Our 1.0, when I look at it, it’s a standard roadmap that everyone did. We donated to charity and dropped rare birds to people. We’re doing a merch drop and all the stuff that you would expect.
That’s one thing that you can’t do like Josh was talking about. We do a lot of ticket giveaways to the events that we have. We gave away campout tickets. We’re going to give away camping tickets. Camping is in Florida. That’s about to get announced. We have barbecues all spring. We’ll give away tickets to that.
In our 2.0 roadmap, we’re going to do something that everyone hates here when I talk about 2.0 stuff before we did it. I get myself in trouble all the time. Let’s say we have a highly-developed four-year-old subscription service that has a lot of features. Maybe these projects will be able to handshake down the line, which will make it automatically worth a whole bunch of money.
We have a subscription service called the Birdfeed. Inside the Birdfeed, you get a completely different release schedule that doesn’t even come out on Dirtybird. It’s completely exclusive. You get everything that comes out on Dirtybird. You get huge discounts on all the clothing. You get to buy tickets before they come out. People who want to go to Dirtybird Campout can get it the cheapest here. We do half the tickets in Birdfeed before they even go on sale. It’s the whitelist.
I forgot the name of the guy who wrote a couple of great books in entrepreneurship. There’s a good book that’s all about all the different types of subscription services that you can create, the boxes, recurring revenues and then all the fun things that people enjoy.
Imagine if you had a bird, maybe you could get into this without paying a fiat fee. Once you trade it, you wouldn’t be able to get it anymore but you could still get it with fiat.
The guy’s name is John Warrillow. He wrote Built to Sell but then he wrote this book that’s all about subscription services. It’s a very popular entrepreneurship book.
Many teams would be envious of this built-in community that you’ve built for years. It’s already into gritty creative stuff. You have the perfect community to experiment with and keep doing cool crap over time. NFTs give you the toolset that probably didn’t exist before this.
One of our other main objectives when we minted is maybe 0.001% of Dirtybird fans had even had a wallet. Our main objective was onboarding. In the entire six weeks that we went into it, all we did was try to onboard people. We didn’t even do any marketing. It was relentless onboarding of Dirtybird fans. I still think we only probably got 5% or 7% of Dirtybird fans in. That is a big thing still for us, the onboarding program, getting people into it. It’s a long-term project.
Even Gary Vee spent a lot of time doing that with his VeeFriends project. It’s on a roadmap.
That’s where we got the idea. Somebody said, “Do you know what Gary Vee did? He onboarded all of his friends.” I was like, “That’s what we should be doing. We should onboard all these fans and that’s it. That’s all we should do.”
One of the other things about a community is a shared set of beliefs. There’s a vibe that happens within communities and it develops over time. It was cool to see that one of the things on your roadmap was to give back. There’s a music-related charity called Notes for Notes where you guys are going to be donating $25,000. Can you give us a little more detail on that?
We had the community vote. Internally, we picked out about twelve charities that all had something to do with music but could accept Ethereum. We whittled it down to three. We had the bird holders vote on which one they thought was the best and Notes for Notes was the winner. We’re happy. They sent us the nicest email I’ve ever had from a company ever in my life. They were so happy to receive the money and a bunch of kids will be able to learn how to make music. It’s a great thing all around. We didn’t choose it. Our people chose charity, which is even cooler.
One of those things that always gets lost in education is arts and music. One thing that’s so essential about it beyond having the cultural benefits, musicians can develop their math skills by developing their music skills. Also with underprivileged youth, people are going through difficult times. Music is such a wonderful way to process difficult things, express those things and move through them. That’s awesome that you guys are facilitating this for younger people.
I was always terrible at math but I see that the correlation is there. Arranging and moving stuff around is very mathematical. Somehow maybe I am good at math.
To highlight it too, I was looking at Notes for Notes, recording studio environments across 23 different studios in 11 states and 14 cities. They also have an online component. That is an impactful organization and an amazing resource.
If we saw all of a sudden that we get a ton of aftermarket stuff, we will probably donate again.
Let’s take a step back for a moment. You talked a little bit about your passion for NFTs as a whole. I’m curious. What else are you inspired by in the world of NFTs? Are there any particular projects or ideas that get you pumped?
I don’t know about you guys but I watch YouTube videos every night. I know that we’re not going to become a DAO because we’re not a financial NFT. That’s not our thing. I know that everyone is like, “Maybe we should start staking.” One thing I have learned in life is to stay in your lane and do what you do well. Eventually, everything will work out. I am obsessed with that whole CyberKongz model. I managed to get into Kaiju King, Head DAO and some of these little ones that are the copies of the CyberKongz. I’m like, “How many days until the government finds out about this because I need to know right before?”
Did you see the Gambling Apes too?
No. Is that a new one?
No. These guys have been around a little while too but maybe launched around the same time. You got these Gambling Apes. They’re going to be running a casino in Decentraland and the profits of the casino get dripped into each ape holder. If we want to take this to the Dirtybird situation, you got these metaverse concerts that are produced where you could drip in a little bit of the ticket revenue to the Dirtybird holders and then you have 10,000 ticket promoters for you.
That’s interesting. You had a great idea. That’s not outside of our wheelhouse but it still has value to everyone.
Have you also followed some of the other music projects like OneOf, Opulous and Mandolin and what they’re trying to do in terms of creating a stronger connection between the fan and their favorite talent?
I haven’t looked at those in-depth but I am studying how to put out music where the fans are the owners of half or all of the record because it’s very complicated. I’ll put it to you this way. If I release a record on Dirtybird, Dirtybird collects all the money that that record makes. They have to collect it from Beatport, Traxsource, Spotify and Apple. If I do a record and let’s say I sell the rights to NFTBoy1328 or whatever, I can’t write the Ethereum contract so that all that money goes to him.
I still have to do all the work. There still has to be a record label element. Maybe down the line somebody is going to write a contract that is like a distribution contract that will suck everything in. You can sell a piece of music to someone and give them the whole thing but still then HBO will call and be like, “We want to put this in 30 seconds of a radio in the bathroom on succession.” That combo is not going in the Ethereum contract. It’s very difficult and tricky.
It is but the future is NFTs on NFTs. You can add those layers in and some cool crap will come out. This is amazing. It’s so cool to hear from you about everything that Dirtybird is up to about DFC, Dirtybird Flight Club. We want to follow everything you’re doing and support it in any way we can. We also want to take a moment, get to know you a little better personally and get your personal perspective on some questions. We have this segment that we call Edge Quick Hitters. It’s a fun, quick way to get to know you. There are ten questions. We’re looking for short single-word or few-word answers but you can feel free to expand if you get the urge. Question number one, what is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?
Besides candy bars, it’s an actual purchase. I remember sneaking out of this middle school field trip. Believe it or not, I went to a record store by myself and bought a Run-D.M.C. first album on vinyl and then snuck back into the field trip and did not get caught. I was eleven.
Is there any chance you have that vinyl record still?
I might. I have a big vinyl collection over here. I don’t know where it is but I probably do have it. I wouldn’t have thrown it away.
Question number two, what is the first thing you remember ever selling in your life?
I was born in Cleveland and then we moved to Detroit. I had a very classic Midwest like a little kid in the suburbs. I sold lemonade with my brother on the corner. We never made any money but we did all of those things like brownies and all the stuff where your mom is like, “Go out to the corner and don’t bother me for three hours.”
One of our other guests did was they had some dice game that they included in their lemonade stand.
I wasn’t that clever at that age.
Question number three, what is the most recent thing you purchased?
I bought a Voltron #1 CGC 9.8. Speculating that is going to come around because everybody is buying up all these IPs, I feel like somebody is going to do Voltron. I bought the first comic. If no one knows what a CGC 9.8 is, it’s the highest grade. There is a little bit above that but nobody has any 9.9.
Dirtybird NFT: Releasing a record on Dirtybird is very complicated. There still has to be a record label element. Maybe down the line, somebody is going to write a contract that is like a distribution contract that will suck everything in.
Question number four, what is the most recent thing you sold?
I’m going to pump my new record release that came out because I’m selling. This guy that I found Lubelski from LA was big on our streaming network. He created this whole modular synthesis show where he did everything from scratch. You have no idea what is going to happen on any episode. I was obsessed with watching the show so much so that I asked him to make an album for Dirtybird. I went over to his studio and we made a track called Ice Cream Cone that has this guy Life on Planets on the vocals. That came out so I’m selling it.
Question number five, what is your most prized possession?
One year we had this guy, Dulk. I don’t know if you’re familiar with his work but if you aren’t, go look up Dulk. He is from Valencia, Spain. He came to our house, lived here for eleven days and painted his largest indoor painting right where we mounted it on the wall. He talked to my kids and told them the story. The painting is insane. It’s a flying crocodile being chased by little rabbits and birds. There’s a mouse on top of the crocodile that has stolen an egg. They’re trying to escape this ninja bunny squad. It’s so weird. I remember my kids talking to him and then he would make us paella at night. It was cool. That painting is amazing and massive.
That’s a great segue to one of our hot topics, which involves rabbits. We’ll get a sneak preview there.
I’m looking at all of his art. It’s all dreamscapes. It’s very cool.
He was the artist on Dirtybird for one year in 2017.
I love that model. People have artist residencies. I don’t know if you call it a residency but it feels very much. That’s beautiful. In this case, you invited this artist to your house for a week and a half or whatever but that would be cool. I don’t know if you have done it where you invite the artist for the label to come and stay somewhere as well because that’s also a fun aspect of residencies where people can be immersed in a different space.
That’s a good idea. The guy that is the artist-in-residence in 2021 is Chema Mendez. He is the reason that we got into NFTs in some way because he was our graphic designer for years and then all of a sudden, he started cranking out NFTs. He did it so consistently that he became big in NFTs and I have to beg him to do any art for us. He has a huge drop called Hand Jabs. It’s coming out in early November 2021. They’re all painted, hilarious and weird. It’s good.
Moving on then from there, let’s head to question six. If you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service and experience that’s for sale, what would that be?
I’m still FOMO-ing over a Genesis CyberKongz. I’m like, “Should I buy one of these? No, don’t do it. That’s a lot of money. Don’t buy one. You missed it. Acknowledge that you missed it.”
We had Matt Kalish on the show from DraftKings. If you want his advice, he thinks the 58th floor he snapped up an APAC is a bargain. It’s all perspective.
That’s the other one where I’m like, “Should I buy one?” I know they’re going to be worth a lot. In ten years, when the Nike emblem is in the Bored Apes Club, I’m going to be like, “Why didn’t I buy one at 36?”
How did you hear about the Apes? Josh and I, our friend Teddy, one day, he was like, “There’s this Apes thing.”
They’re $1,500 each. Even then, I can see why you didn’t do it. Did you get one? $1,500 seems crazy and I can see why you wouldn’t do it. I probably wouldn’t have done it. They were $75 or something. You don’t know what is going to happen.
Even Gary Vee’s NFTs, the floor has been cut in half. It’s a risky business.
The value prop at that time as far as we knew it was, “Do you want to buy this cookie digital art to be able to look inside the digital bathroom at the digital bathroom wall?” I was like, “I don’t know. That’s okay. I’m cool.”
This is my main thing. My main question is like, “Theoretically, are there going to be so many projects that the top projects wash out or keep becoming more and more desirable?” I don’t know which way it’s going to go. Every week, it’s like, “You have to get Doodles. Is Doodles going to be Apes? No.”
Question seven, if you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would that be?
It’s grinding and working super hard and then getting rejected and coming back again. That’s the only reason that Dirtybird works. We feed it crap and then we try it again.
Question eight, if you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would that be?
That’s easier. I get wound up and tied up in minutia in the font on this flyer and all the little tiny things. Some people might say that might be why everything looks okay but I don’t know. I don’t think it’s important.
Question nine, what did you do before joining us on the show?
I took a shower and then realized my iPad wasn’t charged at all. I got a big PowerBlock instead. I was running around trying to get my iPad after getting out of the shower. That’s it.
Last one, question ten, what are you going to do next after the show?
I have to meet with Chema, the guy that’s doing Hand Jabs because he is finishing a flyer for the new Get Real Tour that I’m not allowed to announce but you found out about.
Is he going to be in New York as well?
No, he is not.
I’m happy to connect with him. I’m looking at the website. It looks like a dope project. Feel free to connect us.
I have had a growing obsession already in the few minutes since I discovered your suggestion. It’s so cool.
He is great. He is very savvy as well at marketing and moving around the space and stuff.
Thanks so much for sharing all of your responses to our Edge Quick Hitters. It’s lots of fun. We appreciate it. We also have some hot topics to cover.
The first hot topic that’s heating things up is, “Tom Brady’s NFT venture Autograph ropes in R&B sensation The Weeknd. In August, Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph launched its first collectibles, focusing entirely on sports. The company has broader ambitions in the entertainment space and is adding some renowned members to its board to help bring those plans to life. It added Canadian music The Weeknd to its board of directors and will launch music collectibles vertical.”
We’ve seen this little pattern here. We saw that when we were talking about Candy Digital as well trying to move out of, in this case, sports. There are also platforms that have a certain niche and maybe they think it’s time to expand and grow. DraftKings is saying they want to do things with famous personalities and entertainers outside of sports as well.
Did you see when Tom Brady, through his 600th touchdown, the receiver gave it to a fan? They had to go back and get the ball. Tom Brady had to give them a Bitcoin and some other stuff so that they could turn the ball into an NFT for that store.
Did they end up giving him a Bitcoin?
Yes, they gave him a Bitcoin and something else.
There was a little bit of FUD in the news about him not getting a fair trade. I’m glad that they upped the game there because that was a very generous offer in terms of giving the ball back.
Tom Brady got on that Peyton Manning and Eli do that. They watched a game. That’s where I saw this and Tom Brady was like, “The guy that got the ball in the crowd, he should have held onto it because then he would have had all the leverage,” but he handed it right back to the receiver. He was like, “He shouldn’t have done that. He would have had so much leverage.”
I felt bad for the guy that had gotten it and given it back at that moment because he was dogging them out a little bit there. People keep giving him stuff. Gronk who has a couple of NFT-related things kicked over some stuff in collaboration with one of the projects he is on. Maybe it’s another $30,000 worth or so. Did they say that he is turning that into an NFT that bowl?
They did say that but I don’t know what they mean. You’re just talking to me. I don’t know.
Dirtybird NFT: Once all these huge players come in, all boats rise. Everybody is going to go up. All your investments will go up hopefully.
All this stuff, Autograph, Brady, The Weeknd, it’s hard to get bigger than The Weeknd. If you want to raise awareness about your project and do some cool crap, that’s a good way to go.
This is one topic also I feel like is important. Some people get scared because they think all these super-megatron people are going to come into the space and ruin it but this happens in house music all the time, like Diplo will decide that he is playing house music now that happened. That freaks a whole bunch of people out but I know from being in the industry for so long that all that does is make all the house DJs more desirable, their fees go up and everybody gets more business. It’s the same in NFTs. Once all these huge players come in, all boats rise. Everybody is going to go up. All your investments will go up hopefully.
It’s adoption too. For such a large mainstream group of people that don’t even have wallets or know how to even interact in the space, it helps make that happen.
We’re going to talk to Jeremy Born. Should we jump in and have a chat with Jeremy?
We should. We know that guy. Jeremy, what’s up? It’s good to see you.
I was trying to get to this seat to do this at this time. I wish somebody was filming what I had to do to get here.
It’s fine. There’s only one of the guests. There may be another person in this group that had some difficulties getting going here. It’s the NFT hustle. A lot of us go over to New York. There’s a lot going on. I’m excited to have you here. It’s a perfect topic to cover because we were talking about the future of music and where it’s going. You guys have a drop. We were talking about how to do those successfully and you guys have done a lot of them. I’m excited to do this little guest matchup.
Also, I want to ask you this question, Jeremy. I brought up something early in the episode before you were here. I want to follow up because it’s maybe the case. Did you have a lemonade stand when you were a kid?
Did you have a dice game involved with that?
Do you remember that? I don’t know what happened that day with the first interview but I went deep on my personal life with you guys in a way. I don’t know what you bring out of me but yes, I did.
We’re talking to our guest, Claude. We asked this question to our guests like, “What did you sell when you were a kid, the first thing you sold?” He said lemonade stand and I was like, “One of our previous guests had one but they had a dice game.” I didn’t realize it was you we’re going to be talking to. That’s perfect. What did they get if they rolled the right dice?
Do you guys remember those card shows? You go to a convention center. I don’t know if you guys went to basketball cards, football cards or any of these card shows. There’s this cool thing that I loved as a kid. There was always a stand and they would have a dice game. They would have 2 or 4 dice. I can’t remember. Long story short, if you rolled a three, you got this card that was okay. If you rolled this, it was better. It was four dice. If you got all sixes then you got something ridiculous. You got a Michael Jordan Rookie Card. I was like, “Cool.” I took a line out of that book.
I remember going to Lamppost Pizza back in the day and I was lucky enough to do this claw machine. I won the Beavis and Butt-Head T-shirt out of that claw machine and I thought it was gold. I thought it was probably worth $1 million at least to me because nobody could get it. That was the grand prize I put together. I’ll give you some Butt-Head T-shirt. A slammer that was Beavis and Butt-Head, I put together in this Beavis and Butt-Head package. If you were lucky enough to roll all sixes, that’s what you could get.
Thanks for diving a little bit deeper on that one. That’s good. We should dive into the topic at hand. Josh or Jeremy, what do we want to chat about? Let’s do that.
Let’s start with these Rebel Rabbits. I’ve been hearing about this project and seeing some of the marketing going out and the FOMO building up. What is going on there? You guys have done so much in this space and that has probably been built into your thinking on this project. I’m excited to hear more.
Rebel Rabbits is a special one for us. This character of a Rebel Rabbit with this mask with an X on its eye is special to us because it’s representative of everybody, all of us here, everybody in crypto that’s leading the charge and towards moving the world to a better and more decentralized place. It’s representing everybody in this crypto movement. Whether you’re in crypto, DeFi or NFTs, it doesn’t matter and because of that, it has deeply resonated with a lot of people. It’s weird to say that even before this big launch, people have already gotten tattoos of Rebel Rabbits because it felt so deep to them.
We’re moving away from Wax where this was born inside of Bitcoin Origins and bringing this as a unique set to the Ethereum blockchain. We do our free claims for the lucky few and open up the presale. The actual public sale is on the 31st of October 2021. We’ve got a lot of traction. We did Twitter Spaces. Mark Cuban and Roham ended up showing up. It went from 125 people to thousands in two seconds. It was a good watershed moment for us in the company. A lot of people got exposed to Rebel Rabbits and some of the other projects that we’re working on the Flow blockchain and Tezos as well.
I saw on your roadmap you have all kinds of fun stuff happening. One of the things that jumped out to me was the treasure hunts. Is there anything you can share with us about what you have in mind for that?
Let’s say that if you know anything about Bitcoin Origins and our history is we were one of the first to bring storytelling into the NFT space. Everything is going to be based and predicated on a story, “What is the why behind Rebel Rabbits? Why are they here? Why are you putting on a mask? What happens when you put on a mask? What do you see?” Right from there then clues are delivered and you can start going down the path of this treasure hunt.
If anybody knows what happened on Bitcoin Origins, before anybody who was in the space of giving a lot back to the community, we were some of the earliest innovators in treasure hunts and giving back. We gave away, which seems like ten years ago now in the NFT space. We brought back the ability for somebody to win an entire Bitcoin to which that person ended up sharing it with the other four finalists so they each have an equivalent of $10,000 each. We will be giving back to the community in a big way. I’m pretty excited about that. That’s all I can say about the treasure hunts.
I’m seeing something about comics. What is that all about?
Comics will be a part of this for sure. I can’t say how yet but if you could see the art, it lends well to comics and stories. We’ve been wanting again in the comic space for a while. Whether that’s digital or physical, it’s yet to be determined but it will be a part of this experience. At the end of the day, you’ll understand what is happening that this is not a PFP set or generative art set. The mask is your entry as we say into this decentralized rebellion. The mask is the thing that happens and that you need to be able to get access to the next phase, which is a lot behind it. I’m pretty excited to kick this whole thing off.
That’s where you’re going, Josh. We heard that you guys are working on a new music NFT marketplace also. What is the scoop there?
That evolved from when we were last on the show from solely a music NFT marketplace and now it’s more of a broad marketplace. This is going to be on Flow. It’s called the Gaia Marketplace. You can sign up for early access on OnGaia.com. The long story short is we’re doing our first launch, which is our internal IP called Ballerz. It’s a basketball-inspired generative art set. It’s all pixel-based with all these made-up teams and all these men and women having different components. It’s a type of punks feel to an extent but all basketball players.
That’s something that turned into something way more than what we expected. It has gotten a lot of traction and is going to be a pretty huge success. That launches on November 5th, 2021. That’s Ballerz that will kick off our Gaia platform. We’ll have some subsequent launches with some very big and famous athletes and that will expand into a number of different things. Music is going to be one facet of it but it’s going to focus on music, entertainment, a lot of sports and pop culture.
We’re going to be working with some of the biggest brands, athletes, musicians and celebrities to bring them into the space in a thoughtful way in a completely verticalized marketplace so you can find what you’re looking for quickly without brands having to worry about their Mickey Mouse NFT being next to something that might be nefarious as it’s like on other platforms. It’s solving a big problem for brands too.
One thing we were talking about earlier, Jeremy, I would be curious to get your thoughts and weigh-in is the distribution side of music. It’s great to create that fan purchase experience. What are your thoughts on distribution, say, Coca-Cola wants to use ten seconds of a song in an ad? How does that work in the world of blockchain decentralization? Not to put you on the spot but I’m curious if you’ve thought about this.
We thought about it a lot. I don’t know if there’s a solid fix, answer or solution that anybody has created that works. Like anything else but music specifically, there are so many hands in the honeypot. Being able to cut in everybody effectively, blockchain is a great solution for that and then you have private key management. There are a lot of solutions that allow for that but you also have to get consensus and a lot of people to agree to what the plan is and how they’re going to be paid. They have to figure out how to sign up for a crypto wallet, which a lot of them are not willing to do or they’re not ready to do yet.
There are solutions to be able to do that and there are awesome use cases of people that are trying to do this. I don’t know if you guys saw Spottie WiFi. Go look at that because it’s not big at all. I bought this NFT because I thought it was interesting. Look at what that guy did. That is what the future of what this can be related to music and how you can incorporate ownership into your albums and give people certain rights. It’s easier with that of independent artists because they’re in control of their destiny. They can say whatever goes but as it relates to people that are part of management companies and record labels, it gets complex. It’s going to take time to be able to get there.
Even on the licensing end of it, it’s so complicated because even the majority of licenses that come through here, they’ll call you and be like, “Can you get the master and publishing side and everybody on this track to agree to be in the show in the next 30 minutes? Otherwise, we have three other tracks that we might use.” It would be amazing if it could be on the blockchain and you’re like, “Here it is. Boom.”
The possibilities are endless. I got to check out this one. You said Spottie WiFi.
It was something I found. I thought it was interesting and nobody knows about it. He hasn’t gotten a lot of play but he is doing some cool stuff. He did a Punks Anthem. I don’t know the guy. I reached out to him on LinkedIn and said, “Good job. I bought your NFT. I think what you’re doing is cool and more people should know about it.” Check it out.
I love the innovation there and the direction you guys are going. I know you’re always moving 1,000 miles an hour bringing these projects to life, Jeremy. It’s so cool. I’m glad that you could join us. Where should folks go to follow Rebel Rabbits, Gaia and make sure they’re up to date on the latest and greatest?
Dirtybird NFT: Like anything else but music specifically, there are so many hands in the honeypot. Being able to cut in everybody effectively, blockchain is a great solution for that and then you have private key management.
For Rebel Rabbits, join us on Discord. That’s a lot of where we drop some information about the upcoming sale and what you can do. People are going crazy over trying to get certain roles that get them access to the pre-sale. Go to RebelRabbits.io and then you can click the link for the Discord. For Ballerz, that’s Ballerz.xyz to learn more about that. That’s going to be a fun set and turn into a game. There are going to be game mechanics and some cool stuff.
Mark Cuban is doing a one-of-one Mark Cuban-esque Ballerz and he is going to digitally sign it. Maybe you would be lucky enough to get that one. For Roham, we’re doing a custom one. We’re going to have stuff with Teamflow. If you get somebody who has a Flow jersey, it may or may not give you a utility to something cool. We’re trying to always have fun and innovate at the same time. Check us out or you can follow us on Twitter @GeniusNFT.
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your time and I’m sure we’ll chat again soon.
NFT Genius guys are continuing to innovate and make cool things happen. I love what they’re doing. That’s the show. Before we break, first, I want to say thanks to Claude for joining us and sharing so many great insights and all the fun stuff you have coming up with Dirtybird. Where can folks go to continue to follow you to make sure they’re up to date on all the latest and greatest coming out of your innovation engine?
You can follow our project @DirtybirdArt on Twitter or go to the regular Dirtybird website to find the Flight Club Project. That’s DirtybirdRecords.com and it has a page on our website. It doesn’t have its own separate website because we’re trying to make everything work together but that’s how you find about our project. It’s Flight Club. It’s 9090 birds and the utility is going to get better inside of events, metaverse, music drops and everything.
Check them out there. Also, we’re going to be doing a fun giveaway. We’re going to be giving away one of those NFTs, which is amazing. It’s super generous. Keep an eye out, readers, on our socials for the details of how to score that bad boy. We do appreciate that. We have reached the outer limit at the Edge of NFT. Thanks for exploring with us. We’ve got space for more adventures on the starship so invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey all so much better. How? Go to iTunes, rate us and say something awesome. Go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole.
Remember, we always invite you to co-create and build with us at Edge of NFT. We’re unlocking a whole new way to connect and collaborate with us through our own NFT drop, Living Tree NFTs. Through this project, we will be planting tens of thousands of real trees. This collection is not only beautiful generative art but will also be the foundation of everything we do with Edge of NFT and our community for years to come.
On top of that, Living Tree holders like you will co-create and participate in our podcast and access exclusive events and killer contests. You will be the frontline for other NFT drops as well as a long bright future of branching opportunities to come. Get on the whitelist by dropping us a line at Contact@EdgeOfNFT.com or tweet us @EdgeOfNFT and we’ll share with you the steps required to get in the mix. Lastly, be sure to tune in next episode for greater NFT content. Thanks for sharing this time with us.
- Dirtybird Flight Club
- NFT Genius
- Rebel Rabbits
- Gaia Marketplace
- Dirtybird Records
- Claude VonStroke
- YellowHeart – Previous episode
- Discord – Dirtybird
- 0N1 Force – Previous episode
- Festival Campout – Dirtybird Campout
- Eric Schwertzel – LinkedIn
- Tie Dye Ninjas
- Subset Mark
- James Mandell
- Space Punks
- Wicked Cranium
- Frogland – Previous episode
- Built to Sell
- Notes for Notes
- Gambling Apes
- Ice Cream Cone
- Chema Mendez – LinkedIn
- Matt Kalish – Previous episode
- Tom Brady’s NFT venture Autograph ropes in R&B sensation The Weeknd
- Jeremy Born – LinkedIn
- First Interview – Jeremy Born Previous Episode
- Bitcoin Origins
- Spottie WiFi
- LinkedIn – Spottie WiFi
- Discord – Rebel Rabbits
- @GeniusNFT – Twitter
- @DirtybirdArt – Twitter
- iTunes – Edge of NFT Podcast
- @EdgeOfNFT – Twitter
About Claude VonStroke
Claude VonStroke created a small underground record label called Dirtybird in 2005 and grew it into a full-fledged events, clothing and music brand over the last 16 years. During this time, he has also managed to release 6 albums and some of the most iconic house music tracks of the last two decades.
Most people know Claude VonStroke for his smiling DJ persona touring every major city,festival, and basement after-party around the world. But Claude has also influenced the very fabric of the dance community, A&Ring an impeccable roster of acts like Walker & Royce, Nala, Justin Martin, Fisher, Shiba San, Catz n Dogz, Steve Darko, Riva Starr, Cour T, Breach, Eats Everything, Shadow Child, and countless others. Today, his Dirtybird label continues to surprise and innovate in the underground dance scene, releasing an enigmatic combination of house, funk, dirty-bass, and electronica.
VonStroke has released four original artist albums, a remix album, and a live album recorded when he closed the famed Movement Festival in his original hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Some other music highlights include working on records with Bootsy Collins, Rihanna, Disclosure and Kevin Saunderson as well as a few #1 & #2 hits on Beatport. His partnership with Green Velvet as “GET REAL” has been one of the most rewarding friendships as Claude originally modeled his career after the quirky enigmatic style of his mentor and friend from Chicago.
In 2015 VonStroke brought his first festival to light called Dirtybird Campout, a unique camping experience based on the games and activities associated with American Summer camp mixed with the best underground house and bass music in the world. He continues to innovate and curate new events such as the Birdhouse Festival in Los Angeles and Chicago and the legendary Dirtybird BBQ day parties all across North America. He participates online as well bringing the Dirtybird LIVE twitch channel to life 7 nights a week, curating new and interesting shows including Dj sets, cooking, yoga and even comedy to the fans.
VonStroke also loves art, most notably pop surrealist artwork that he has commissioned for the last 8 years on Dirtybird for all of the releases. Each year he hires a new artist and has had the pleasure of working with renowned artists such as Jeremy Fish, Dulk, Graham Carter, Dan May, Charlie Immer, Raoul Deleo and Felicia Chiao. Walking through the Dirtybird HQ in Los Angeles is like walking through an art gallery in the Wynwood district of Miami.
A lot of his success can be attributed to a good attitude. Claude does not scowl and look mean while he DJs. He does not pretend to know everything and he truly loves his fans. He is grateful to be curating, creating and performing music for a living and he knows that the reason people go to parties is to shake their booty and have fun.