According to Rolling Stone, a collection of rare and unpublished images of Tupac Shakur from his debut album’s release party will be made available as NFT’s.
Lawrence “Loupy D” Dotson, a hip-hop journalist and photographer, will be selling the 18 NFTs through the OpenSea NFT platform.
Seventeen of the NFTs are original Shakur images, while the 18th is a “Super NFT,” a collage of the remaining 17 photos.
Each NFT will include a framed reproduction of the photo autographed by Dotson, with a portion of the proceeds going to Tupac’s hometown to plant trees.
The photos were taken by Dotson in 1992 at the Los Angeles release party for Tupac’s debut album, 2Pacalypse Now.
Dotson had met Tupac not long before in LA and had managed to get an issue of his magazine, No Sellout, into Tupacs hands when he seen him alone at a bar one night.
Dotson was then invited to the 2Pacalypse Now release party by Tupac himself.
“I bought a disposable, black and white 35mm camera from the Thrifty’s on the corner of La Brea and Rodeo,” Dotson remembered. “Later that night I got to Glam Slam, Prince’s old club on Boylston Street downtown. I couldn’t wait to see this brotha perform. I loved the energy he put out on stage as a backup dancer for Digital Underground; the same with his performance in the video when he dropped the verse on ‘Same Song.’ I knew that he was going to give it up that night for his debut release party. Surprisingly, there weren’t many people at the show: mostly industry execs and a few heads from the underground community.”
At the time, Dotson developed but never published the images he shot that night, but he used to show them to kids as a reward for good behavior throughout his years as a substitute teacher.
But according to Dotson, he was never sure what to do with the images, but he now he plans to “create a traveling exhibit of the collection” to present them around the world in addition to selling the NFTs.
“[W]hen you look at these photos you can see it in his eyes: the determination, the passion, the swagger, the shine,” Dotson said. “These photos show a side of the man not many people got to see. This ‘Pac wasn’t covered in jewels and Versace; this ‘Pac was humble and hungry. He knew what he going for on stage that night, and that was to become the legend that he is.”