Today NFT music group KINGSHIP announced a collaboration with Mars to sell limited edition packs of M&Ms containing pictures of the band members. Aside from the Mars deal, the four musicians – Captain, KING, Arnell and Hud – are represented by NFTs, three of which are Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs, and one is a Mutant Ape. KINGSHIP is a creation from 10:22PM, a record label that’s part of Universal Music.
As the metaverse takes off, these sorts of virtual bands will become commonplace, and KINGSHIP isn’t the only Bored Ape band. The same week that KINGSHIP was unveiled last November, Grammy-winning artist Timbaland unveiled the Ape-In Productions music label dedicated to Bored and Mutant Apes with TheZoo as the first group signing. Its first release was a single entitled ApeSh!t.
One of the most audacious aspects of the KINGSHIP group is that 10.22PM doesn’t outright own the rights to the NFTs. They are licensed by the owner Jimmy McNelis (J1mmy.eth).
Having landed a deal with Mars, the group had to develop a story to go with the promo. We’re not entirely convinced they nailed it, but the fans seemed to enjoy it.
When famous bands go on tour, their contracts often have a ton of requirements. Without mentioning the group, it alludes to a rock band that insisted on a bowl of M&Ms backstage with all the brown candies removed. We had to use Google to figure out it was Van Halen.
The story is that KINGSHIP discovered a cache of these discarded M&Ms at various venues. “The members of KINGSHIP knew the key to living in the present is inclusion and bringing people of all backgrounds together. So, they resisted the temptation to consume the candy and instead united all the colors of the M&M’S family,” reads the story.
It sounds like they had fun coming up with the idea.
“KINGSHIP is a group dedicated to the art of storytelling, so it was a great opportunity for us to both pay homage to rock’n’roll history, and one of the greatest bands of all time, but also create a unique fan experience for those that have joined this community at the start of their journey,” said Celine Joshua, founder of 10:22PM and the creator of KINGSHIP. “We are grateful to Mars and team at M&M’S for this incredible partnership to help introduce KINGSHIP and NFT culture to the masses, alongside M&M’S, a true icon of pop culture.”
From the beginning, BAYC NFT owners have had the right to exploit the images commercially. BAYC founder Yuga Labs has now extended it to other brands, including its recently acquired CryptoPunk collection.