The son of Ol' Dirty Bastard, the late hip-hop artist and Wu-Tang Clan member who passed away in 2004, is launching a cryptocurrency.
Young Dirty, real name Bar-Son James, is the face of the appropriately named Dirty Coin, a cryptocurrency being produced in partnership between the estate of Ol' Dirty and Link Media Partners, an entertainment industry firm. Dirty Coin (ticker symbol ODB) will exist as a token on the TAO blockchain network, and is set to be traded on the AltMarket exchange later this year when the coin goes live.
It's a notable launch, given last year's spate of celebrity-endorsed ICOs – and the subsequent warning from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that such endorsements may break "anti-touting" laws.
In the case of Dirty Coin, the project is aimed at both serving as a funding base for an upcoming Young Dirty album, as well as a means for fans to access shows and buy merchandise. The coin will be able to be used to purchase merchandise tied to the late rapper as well.
"If fans basically bought a Dirty Coin before the concert, they have a better chance of getting in, probably for the price of nothing. So it's a big opportunity for our fans," Young Dirty said in an interview.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Young Dirty suggested that the project may spur other performance artists to take a closer look at cryptocurrency, which he called "the biggest thing known to man."
"When other artists get involved, I think there's gonna be a chain reaction," he commented.
Though an exact date hasn't been set for the launch, Dirty Coin will be sold in what its backers call an "initial artist offering," expected to be held this summer.
"Music thrives creatively and financially when it's in the hands of the artist themselves. By removing the price tag of experimentation, we're able to deliver for both the artist and their fans," said Bryce Weiner, CEO of AltMarket.
As for what his father would have thought about the growth in cryptocurrencies – bitcoin would first emerge some four years after his death in 2004 – Young Dirty told CoinDesk:
"He would've been like, 'I knew this was coming.'"
Young Dirty Bastard image via Facebook