In my early 20s I had everything going for me.
I was attending Washington State University on a full ride scholarship, had a steady job with a flexible schedule, and was dating a girl, who at the time I thought I'd be with forever. While everything appeared fine on the surface, I couldn’t get over the feeling I was on a path that wasn’t meant for me. My grandmother always encouraged me to make music, so when she passed I pivoted directions.
I chose to put my entire life on hold and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. It was the scariest moment of my life, but based on that one decision things were forever changed, and for the first time ever I felt like I had purpose.
Everything happened fast that year. I signed with management, went on tour with Mike epps, worked with the likes of 1500 or nothing, and was introduced to Nipsey Hussle, who greatly impacted the way I live my life. Nip was always a forward thinker, and from the moment I met him, he challenged the way I was thinking about the music business.
As a young artist, my main focus was to get an abundance of people to listen to my music, because from what I’d seen on television and heard from peers, that was the only way to get people to care about the art, and reach a mild level of success. Ahead of his time, Nip explained how important it was to provide value to the fanbase you already have as an artist, but also to show additional love to core contributors and supporters who go above and beyond for you, and that’s where “Proud to Pay'' enters the conversation.
Nipsey released 100 hard copies of “Mailbox Money” priced at $1,000 each through a program he coined “Proud to Pay”. He offered an exclusive experience to patrons where they received a birds eye view into the world he was building and music that wasn’t yet available. It wasn’t the first time he conducted an experiment like this, but the message was clear to me; art is subjective so pricing should be dynamic, and flexible. Throughout my journey I’ve run with his advice and have built a career I'm proud of.
From the moment I dove into Music NFTs in mid 2021 I knew it was going to change the way people valued music forever. The conversations I had with Nip years earlier were coming to fruition and I immediately wanted to contribute. I wanted to add value in areas I excelled in, and I made it a point to gain knowledge in areas where I wanted to grow.
Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to release across multiple platforms including:
8 1/1s on Catalog
150 editions on Sound.xyz
25 editions on Zora
3 ETH 1/1 on glass.xyz
20 ETH crowdfund for LNRZ DAO
All of these releases have been building towards something bigger - which I’m excited to announce today.
My next EP - Frameworks - will debut with the launch of the sound.xyz protocol on September 21st.
Frameworks will consist of 5 tracks across 333 editions priced 0.033 ETH.
Here’s what you need to know.
In 2016 I signed with 10k Projects and later upstreamed to Virgin Records.
We released the first single off of my debut project “Inconsiderate” and for the first time ever I felt heard. The song made it to the top 5 on the United States viral top 50 list and even landed inside the Global Top 50. We followed up with a few more singles before releasing the “Growing Pains” mixtape and my life was forever changed.
I signed with William Morris Talent Agency and started playing shows all over the country which led to my first tour where I was one of the supporting acts for Lil Yachty. I played 15+ dates and made it a point to really focus on my stage presence. That focus paid off because by the time I was finished writing my follow up project, I got a call stating I would be the main tour support for Billie Eilish’s “Where’s My Mind” Tour. I loved playing shows up until that point, but it was really during this run where people started singing along to my songs. We played 20+ dates together and after I got home I parted ways with Virgin Records and reclaimed my independence.
I went straight to the studio and shortly after released the “Quits” EP with Flume. He invited me on the “Hi, This is Flume” Tour to play the project and that opportunity ended up being one of the greatest moments of my life.
After returning to the states I started working on my latest album “Diary of a Loner” where I fell in love with the idea of tokenizing music.
I released my first Music NFT on sound.xyz in November 2021, but I was building and seeking mentorship from artists and thought leaders who were active in the space long before that.
I spoke with Clear eyes about my excitement for possibilities in the landscape, and we released a music video on chain which was picked up within a couple minutes. I met with Cooper Turley who introduced me to exciting projects and amazing talent which really helped me find my footing in the space. I released pieces on Catalog and songs I poured a lot of love and energy into slowly began to be collected by individuals and DAOs, and I met Daniel Allan who’s become a close friend and collaborator of mine.
Finally I founded LNRZ DAO which is a creative incubator for musicians looking to grow in the music NFT landscape.
Through the power of music and technology much has changed and after a year of building, I’ve witnessed creator collaborations flourish, communities rally behind our shared love of music, and the emergence of new ways of communicating art.
Frameworks is the byproduct of hard work and collaboration.
I spent months writing this project with a group of friends and created 5 songs in 4 different cities. With the help of Daniel Allan, clear eyes, Bloody White, Lackhoney, Subb, Pluko, and Deegan we landed on something we’re proud to call our own.
My last album Diary of a Loner was introspective and oftentimes melancholy, but this time around I found myself in a healthier mind-state. The music is bold, and in your face; we made it a goal to really have fun with it.
The artwork is a collaboration between Evrlstng and gho$tlord and we treated the process with just as much respect as we did the music. Evrlstng took ghostlords 2D creations and reimagined them into a 3D format which really brought the project to life.
With a total of 333 editions at 0.033 ETH, each song will have a different supply. There are 5 golden eggs instead of the traditional 1 per contract (one for each song) broken down as follows:
Zoom - 5
Toxic - 25
Hideaway - 50
Terra Lago - 100
Buck - 153
From the beginning I’ve wanted to tokenize a long-form project.
Dev teams can range between $10,000 - $100,000 depending on customization, turnaround time, experience, and schedule flexibility and for many artists, including myself these rates are out of reach.
I wanted to include a custom allowlist, splits, fixed editions at varying quantities, and the ability to mint in batches – all while keeping gas costs as low as possible.
I wanted the customization of my own site and the tried and true infrastructure and discovery mechanics of a leading curated platform.
Sound, Bonfire, and my values aligned on this goal, so we felt it’d be a great opportunity to tackle this pain point for myself and other artists.
You can read more about the Sound protocol here.
The mint itself will take place on Reocragun.xyz thanks to the brilliant minds at Bonfire.
As an independent artist, ownership is crucial and it was extremely important to build something that could be reproduced and expanded on by other creatives in the space.
Frameworks will be available to collect on my custom site - and I plan to build a lot more experiences and utilities for collectors around reocragun.xyz.
Frameworks will drop in the following phases:
Free Mint: Tuesday, September 27th at 12:00 PM PST for all Reo Cragun Genesis Sound.xyz holders.
Pre-sale: Tuesday, September 27th at 2:00 PM PST for all Reo Cragun Music NFT holders across Catalog, Sound and Zora.
Public Sale: Wednesday, September 28th at 2:00 PM PST for everyone.
The Framework NFTs will be revealed two days later on Thursday, September 29th at 2:00 PM PST.
To learn more about Frameworks, join the Reo Cragun holders chat here.
This drop includes my favorite music I’ve ever released - and it’s all being done independently.
I have ambitions to release all the songs on DSPs, but it’s being premiered first through web3.
I’d like to thank all those who have collected my work to date and look forward to offering more ways to get involved in the near future!
The marathon continues,