KidEight is a UK-based graphic designer, turned NFT artist, turned rapper? Well, not exactly. Famous for his legendary album and mixtape cover art for some of hip-hop’s luminaries, now via an NFT the infamous EVOL a character created by KidEight popular with NFT collections has released a mixtape, via the NFT NiftyGateway Which went live on November 30, 2021.
KidEight has worked on classic cover art for artists like Chris Brown, Future, Pop Smoke, DJ Drama, Don Cannon, Jack Harlow, Chief Keef, Fabulous, Lil Uzi Vert, as well as record companies including Atlantic, Def Jam, and Sony. Therefore, when the NFT craze hit the mainstream, it was only natural that KidEight was tapped to work on projects for artists like Future, Snoop Dog, and Young Thug.
Intrigued by the phenomenon, he also quickly recognized the potential NFT could have on his career as an artist outside of work on mixtape and album cover art. Early on, the appeal and value in NFTs was having a rare one-of-one piece of digital art. NFTs are non-fungible-tokens and in essence is a smart contract that is mined on a blockchain where every transaction and interaction with the smart contract is recorded on a ledger with proof of ownership, has provenance, and can benefit the original owner in perpetuity on resales of the work. Following that train of thought, KidEight minted his genesis NFT featuring the now infamous character EVOL on the Rariable NFT marketplace.
The piece which EVOL wearing a green ski mask, being sick spewing vomit was listed for 1ETH, but sat for two weeks with no bites. However, when the price was dropped to .25 ETH, it sold immediately. KidEight told NFTTimes, that his first sale was from someone who had followed his cover art and also followed him on Instagram, where he had been promoting his work. It was this enthusiastic fan turned collector who helped KidEight get his next couple of sales and the community grew from there.
NFTs opened a whole new world for KidEight. Art houses and galleries aren’t exactly knocking down the doors or even paying attention to graphic artists like KightEight. Well, that is at least not before the popularity of NFTs. With the entrance of NFTs to the marketplace, we are actually witnessing a metamorphosis of the art industry, which once was ultra-exclusive and even haughty. Artists like KidEight had never before been taken very seriously as contenders as it relates to high-value art. Then came Beeple. Digital artist Mike Winklemann, AKA Beeple had been posting to social media art he created every day for over 13 years amassing a collection of over 5000 pieces of digital art. A photo collage of those 5000 pieces minted as an NFT sold at a Christie’s auction in March of 2021 for $69 Million. With that sale, the art world and those that held the keys had to sit up and take notice. Now the flood gates have opened, and there is opportunity for all kinds of artists from all disciplines like never before.
The best thing about this is that although it might be exciting to have your art listed at a Christie’s auction, with NFTs it’s no longer necessary. As evidenced in the case of KidEight and many others, it is possible to make both an impact and money with NFTs. It also in most cases cuts out the middleman and allows the artists to deal directly with the collectors peep-to-peer. NFTs have managed to break all the conventional rules of the stereotypical art scene, and represent an art renaissance that is shaking up the art world. Plus the upside is that through NFTs a whole new sector of people are being onboarding and introduced to art and becoming collectors.
This was the appeal and the case for KidEight. For one of his first projects, minted 50 one-on-one’s of his EVOL charter which incidentally marked the first time Rarible (known for rarity) has been used for a 50 piece drop. EVOL is a 2000-year-old cupid-like cherub character that doesn’t age. He is adored in tattoos, grillz, razor blades, and dons a ski mask, among other things that do not belong to a baby. According to KidEight the concept for EVOL who is in a state of arrested development signifies childhood trauma and duality mixed into one character who just looks like a toddler in a ski mask. My history and lifelong obsession with hip-hop culture drive the aesthetic of the character. He is rooted in the culture, say’s KidEight. The collection, rich with saturated color, intricate details, and attitude, was a hit with the NFT community.
However, as the community of collectors grew, KidEight found that model unsustainable as many of his loyal fans were getting priced out. The solution for this was to switch to generative art similar to projects like CryptoPunks and BoredApe YachtClub. This made the art more attainable and allowed for more collectors to be able to participate and get in on the fun. The first generative project was called D’EVOLS and was an offshoot EVOL character for season two in the growing series. The series of 8000 pieces sold out in two minutes and officially the living legend that is EVOL had arrived.
From that point until now, KidEight having only joined Twitter (where the NFT community communicates) in March of 2021 has grown from zero followers to over 37K, with collectors feverishly clamoring in anticipation of the next EVOL dro. Along the way KidEight and EVOL have managed to ink deals with several platforms for drops and his highly sought after drops can be found on several platforms including Nifty Gateway (who denied him access initially), OpenSea, and SuperRare, and of course Raribal his original genesis NFT home among others.
With the ever-evolving EVOL saga, some might say it is ironic and others might say it is just a natural progression that KidEight’s latest NFT drop is in fact a mixtape. How cool is it that a graphic artist sought after for his signature mix-tape cover art, was able to achieve a full-circle moment by releasing his own mixtape with NiftyGateway for a character that grew out of his imagination fueled by his work with some of hip-hop’s most notable names; the “”mixtape called Anti-Hero was released for auction on November 30th. The drop featured 3 ranked auctions, 2 for current G’EVOLs series NFT holders) and 1 open auction which was only available for 8 minutes. The mixtape was paired with over 8000 single covers with select musical pieces.
I think now is a good time because enough people are aware of NFT’s and blockchain technology. Every day more people are entering the space and now is the time to create a blueprint that hasn’t yet been drawn out. We’re early enough that EVOL and the project being released will be historically relevant and show independent artists and major labels alike what is possible with this new technology and a strong community.
Beating those he previously worked for to the punch on what could potentially transform the music industry (again), the KidEight/EVOL Anti-Hero release is one of the first of its kind. From a technical standpoint, rap and music, in general, haven’t been released in this way. The first leak ‘She Belongs to the Blockchain’ has been airdropped for free, to all holders of a G’EVOL NFT. The track has been broken up into sections and will act as a trait in the metadata, this will tie into the visual and create a new layer of desirability amongst collectors, remove all that and the music slaps. It’s easily the hardest project that talks about crypto in general.
Through NFTs KidEight has managed to create a brand that has taken on a life of its own and actually now actually doesn’t need NFT to sustain it. In the future we are sure to see various EVOL merch, and who knows maybe even a television series. One thing for certain, it’s only the beginning. We are just grateful that KidEight now has the opportunity to actualize his potential to heights that maybe even he doesn’t know yet. As for the Anti-Hero mixtapeNFT, KidEight had this to say…
My intention was never to start rapping but after repeatedly seeing rappers enter the space and drop the ball it made sense for me to show them how it’s done. Funny to think the hardest rapper on the blockchain is a 2000 year old cherub. I want all the gas.”
Check out links for KidEight Below…