Many of music’s biggest stars are spreading their influence beyond just music. One artist that is creating noise in more than one space is Latin superstar Anuel AA. As he has officially joined the tech industry with the release of his own NFT (non-fungible token) collection, he has become one of the first and only Latin artists to do so. An NFT is a type of cryptographic token that represents something unique that cannot be compared to anything else. A great example of what may be equivalent to an NFT is an original artwork piece by Picasso. None of his pieces are the same nor can they be compared to each other. NFTs can be used to create verifiable digital scarcity, which essentially can lead to generational wealth. Anuel is using his platform to show other entertainers that you can create financial stability outside of music in the forever changing music industry.
Joining the ranks of Grimes, Eminem, The Weeknd and Snoop Dogg who all have NFT collections, Anuel is now in a position to connect with his fans in an immersive digital way outside of social media. As we are in an era where ownership is everything, releasing this NFT series gives the Puerto Rico native more control over his digital assets and traction. Being labeled a “founding father of Latin trap music” he has helped introduce this genre of music to the world. But Anuel comes from humble beginnings. Getting his start in the music industry in 2016 with his Real Hasta la Muerte mixtape, he was later sentenced to 30 months in prison forcing him to record his debut album while incarcerated.
Never giving up, he released his debut album in 2018 also titled Real Hasta la Muerte.
As Latin trap was blowing up, his popularity quickly grew, sparking Rick Ross to sign him to his Latin division of Maybach Music Group. He eventually caught the attention of some of Latin music’s biggest stars including Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna, and J Balvin who collabed with the rising star for a hit single titled “China” in 2019. He went on to pin his first Billboard Top 100 in 2020, making him a Billboard Top 100 artist.
Being a pioneer and latin music trailblazer, Anuel AA’s NFT collection coincides with his upcoming music release and USA tour currently underway. Deciding to tokenize the NFT gives his supporters an opportunity to stream, and buy his music easier. It also gives fans exclusive access to limited edition merchandise, releases parties, listening sessions, in person studio visits, and array of other perks. As a philanthropist, he promises to donate 5% of his earnings from the NFT project to his non-profit. Balancing music, NFTs and philanthropy, Anuel AA will continue to influence the masses in a positive and trendsetting manner.
You know the music industry is making a shift when Beyonce and Drake release music in the same week. Ahead of her highly anticipated seventh studio album Renaissance, Queen Bey surprised her massive Beyhive fanbase, with an incredible new single titled Break My Soul featuring Big Freda. Receiving rave reviews from everyone from Viola Davis to former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, this release has set the summer on fire as Beyonce has made the world stop yet once again.
As Beyoncé started the trend of dropping surprise albums back in 2010, Toronto legend Drake joined in on the action, surprising fans with an unexpected album titled Honestly Nevermind last Friday. 21 Savage is actually the only featured guest artist on this project, allowing fans to connect with Drake’s original sound even deeper. A lot of people were shocked with this release as it did not sound like the traditional music Drake typically releases. But those that love House music are over the moon with his seventh studio album, the way they are with “Break My Soul” as it also is a house music release.
That is what stands out the most with these releases. Drake and Beyoncé both have brought House music to the forefront of music, celebrating the genre like no other superstar has ever done. As both Award Winning artists have created songs that will serve as the soundtrack for the summer, shining light on a genre that was created by underground Chicago DJ’s and music producers in the early 1980’s is way over due.
The topic of Beyonce and Drake sent twitter into a frenzy. People began discussing which release was better, and whether or not Drake knew about Beyoncé’s upcoming album release and decided to release his to take the shine off of her. Click here to see some of the twitter conversations that the world has been having, as you listen to Beyonce’s new single “Break My Soul”.
That is what stands out the most with these releases. Drake and Beyoncé both have brought House music to the forefront of music, celebrating the genre like no other superstar has ever done. Both award winning artists have created songs that will serve as the soundtrack for the summer, shining light on a genre that was created by underground Chicago DJs and music producers in the early 1980’s.
The topic of Beyonce and Drake sent twitter into a frenzy. People began discussing which release was better, and whether or not Drake knew about Beyoncé’s upcoming album release and decided to release his to take the shine off of her. Click here to see some of the tweets posted, as you listen to Beyonce’s hit new single “Break My Soul”. Between these two new releases, it’s gonna be a summer of dance.
Sylvester James Jr. was born on September 6th, 1947 in Watts, California. Known for creating his own sound and look during the 70’s disco era, he spun several hit records that forever changed the landscape of traditional music. Never shying away from who he was as a person and artist, Slyvester was determined to make it big as a recording artist. Growing up in a religious and strict Pentecostal church upbringing, his start in music came from being in the church choir. Determined to be authentically himself, he left the church while in high school due to the lack of support the congregation showed him for his flamboyant mannerisms and vivid outfit choices.
Things started to change for Sylvester when he found himself in high school. He found a place where he was able to express himself, musically and creatively without being shamed or judged. This place was called drag. The Watts native joined a group of black drag queens and transgender women, called The Disquotays, ultimately changing his life forever. Walking across his graduation stage in full on drag, Slyvester was on his way to becoming one of the first openly black gender fluid pop stars in the 70’s. In 1969, he relocated to San Francisco at the height of the Gay Rights movements, launching his music career officially. Struggling to find work, he fell on hard times leaving him homeless for some years, before catching his break.
Hitting the underground San Fran music scene heavily, he caught his break with the now famous drag performance troupe The Cockettes. The flamboyant, boisterous manner that the troupe celebrated gayness and sex seemed to be the perfect fit for Sly. As a full time member of the group, Slyvester was able to pay homage to his longtime idols jazz icons Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker by producing his own solo shows that were heavily inspired by them. But his run with The Cockettes would come to an end, as his desire to become a star took over. Transitioning into a solo artist, he landed a recording deal with Blue Thumbs Records in 1969, as the forerunner of his own band. Upon their disbanding, the era of disco appeared on the music scene making the lane for Slyvester as a solo artist more prevalent than ever. As disco music continued to rise, so did this LGBTQ pioneer’s notoriety. He found the place where his over-the-top performance, bold outfits, and unorthodox sound was finally appreciated.
Catching the attention of Megatone Records founder Patrick Cowley, the two began developing a musical partnership that finally gave Sylvester’s sound the nurturing and attention it was missing. The pair hit it off so hard that Cowley signed him to his label Blue Megatone Records, in 1978. Slyvester released his first hit single the same year titled “You Make Me Feel”, which today serves as one of the most celebrated and known disco songs of all time. He went on to pin five gold records along with one platinum hit record. Sylvester died December 18th,1988 at the age of 41 from complications of the AIDS virus, leaving all future royalties from his work to San Francisco-based HIV/AIDS charities.
Sylvester’s heroics as an LGBTQ pioneer, AIDS/HIV champion, and iconic music star, will never be forgotten. Embracing his truth through music and his personal life, at a time where it was almost forbidden is the reason why he is an LGBTQ icon that the world deserves to know and celebrate during Pride Month.