So it looks like Kanye West is into NFTs now?

Kanye West and Yeezus logo
(Image credit: GQ / Yeezus)

Kanye West has done a lot of things. Aside from make music, he's designed sports shoes and other clothing and has even produced packaging for McDonald's. One thing he's previously suggested he wouldn't do is make an NFT. But then they do say never say never. The Chicago-born hip-hop artist has filed around 17 applications for the Yeezus trademark, including, yes, NFTs and more.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Ye – that is Kanye West – has filed applications for the Yeezus name covering blockchain-based and non-fungible tokens, currencies and collectibles, as well as online retail services offering downloadable movies, videos, TV, music and digital art. Basically everything you could think of in the the digital world (Confused about what this all means? Then see our What are NFTs? explainer).

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Now this could just be West trying to ensure that nobody else gets in and uses the Yeezus brand on these platforms (after all, West himself has been accused of ripping off others' logos on more than one occasion, and he's even trademarked Yeezus amusement parks). However, it could mean that he's planning something big in the blockchain sphere.

Just last February, West posted a now-deleted message on Instagram showing a handwritten note in which he appeared to rule out joining the NFT world – for the moment. "Do not ask me to do a f***ing NFT," were his actual words, as he insisted that his "focus is on building real products in the real world. Real food. Real clothes. Real shelter." Although, perhaps tellingly, he did finish the note with the phrase, "Ask me later."

February doesn't seem like a long time ago for West to have already made a complete about-turn, but a lot has happened in the NFT market since them. Starbucks has announced an NFT integration, Spotify has announced NFT profile displays. Burger King, McDonald’s and Taco Bell held NFT giveaways. It's possible that Ye has realised that he can't ignore the new market.

It might be a smart move. The hype around NFT sales has settled down of late, thanks in no small part to the NFT sales crash. But some think that now means it's time for value-based and experience-driven NFTs rather than the speculative frenzy that we saw previously.

What could West do? From what we've come to expect from him, we don't think it would be completely outlandish to see the launch of a Yeezus Universe in the Metaverse with its own cryptocurrency, blockchain, and other assets. Of course, it could be something less ambitious like a line of NFTs for fans like Nike and other companies have put out. There's no detail on when the trademarks will be used, so we'll just have to wait and see. 

Considering entering the NFT market yourself? Then make sure you see our guides to how to make and sell and NFT and the best NFT marketplaces. We also have a roundup of the best NFT artwork created so far.

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Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.