When the worlds of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and photography intersect, it becomes a space to help protect art and amplify its longevity. The stories behind the photos and the artist behind the lens are a part of what keeps history alive.
It’s the power of storytelling through street photography that birthed visual artist Enrico Moses’ idea of how to help preserve historical moments within Hip-Hop. Flash Mints, an innovative NFT platform, features collections from legendary Hip-Hop and street photographers including Chi Modu, Jamil GS, T. Eric Monroe, Ricky Powell, and Yaasmyn Fula.
“Hip-Hop is something that we as a culture we cherish. I think that we’re still learning so much more about the history of Hip-Hop because it’s so new,” Moses told AfroTech. “It’s something that was born recently in the 80s and really developed in the 90s. And here we are today in this multi-billion dollar industry. I think that these images are preserving this history that we’re all even discovering how much it means to us.”
Flash Mints Collections
While the platform’s name pays homage to Hip-Hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash, its collections also highlight legends such as Tupac, Notorious B.I.G, Snoop Dogg, Lil Kim, and more who have paved the way for what the genre is today. Flash Mints is not only taking fans back to the glory days, but most importantly, it’s upholding the value of the genre and the artists a part of pushing it forward.
Monroe is one of the esteemed photographers that captured those iconic artists from 90s Hip-Hop such as Biggie, Tupac, The Fugees, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
“It’s our job as the collective of holding this history and that we share the best of the best so we can tell the best stories,” Monroe said. “I’m glad to be alive in this moment — rest in peace to Chi and Ricky — and that me, Jamil, and [Yaasmyn Fula] can all tell these beautiful stories of reality. Like I get to learn about Tupac before he was known as a rapper. That’s what I truly want to know. And I look forward to helping in any way to push our story forward in a right and beautiful way.”
Power To The Culture
Flash Mints empowers photographers to monetize their work on their own terms, as well as allows them to authenticate their artwork.
“I’m grateful to the universe for allowing me to meet Enrico and his whole team and their vision behind Flash Mints because it came right at a time where I was trying to figure out how to authenticate my artwork, my photography,” Monroe shared. “They sped me up because my artwork was already ready to go into [the NFT space] rather than being a physical print into a digital file where people can share. It’s a beautiful way to be interactive with people with your artwork.”
The platform is also a win for the Hip-Hop community as it provides accessibility for collectors to get their hands on rare images that are pieces of history. Ultimately, it’s a celebration for the culture as a whole.
“It’s a community of artists, the photographers, the collectors and bringing all of those pieces together,” Monroe said. “And allowing collectors to be along on this journey because this is something that we see as a very long-term play. Each of these photographers has deep catalogs of amazing photos, imagery, and stories that they’re going to be telling. This is the very beginning of this process.”
The Next Collection
Since the debut release on Dec. 4, the platform has dropped three collections from Jamil GS, T. Eric Monroe, and Ricky Powell. Chi Modu’s collection, “The Second Drop,” is next up on the lineup for Dec. 24.
To keep up with Flash Mints’ release dates, click here.