According to 17 new trademark applications filed surrounding Kanye West’s Yeezus alter persona, the artist may be planning to mint his own non-fungible tokens (NFT). The move shows that since openly condemning digital art artifacts early this year, the prominent rapper/designer has modified his anti-NFT position.
On May 27, West, who legally changed his name to “Ye,” submitted trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for “blockchain-based non-fungible assets,” “currency and tokens,” and “online retail shop services including… digital art.” West might potentially open Yeezus-branded amusement parks, according to the documents.
The lawsuit comes only months after West expressed his disinterest in NFT projects in a handwritten letter uploaded to his Instagram on Feb. 1 that stressed that the rapper’s priority was on “creating actual stuff in the real world,” a post he has since removed.
West’s tweet followed a viral interview with Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon in which they discussed their Bored Ape NFTs and other celebrity NFT sponsorships. While West was categorical in his letter that he would not be entering the NFT arena anytime soon, he did hint that he could have a change of heart later on, inviting fans to “ask me [about NFTs] later.”
As celebrity NFT initiatives and endorsements have grown in popularity, trademark registrations have become a popular way for the wealthy and famous to get their feet wet and stake a claim. In April, soccer legend David Beckham filed three metaverse and NFT-related trademark applications, while Biggie Smalls’ intellectual property manager, Notorious B.I.G., LLC, filed three trademarks in March, indicating the company’s likely plans to issue NFTs of the late rapper. Logan Paul, a YouTube sensation, professional boxer, and NFT aficionado, helped kick-start the trend of celebrities launching their businesses in Web 3 by submitting a number of NFT and metaverse trademarks in February.