A brand new digital expertise, The Cultureverse, launched in the present day to commemorate the golden anniversary of hip-hop music, the results of a collaboration between retail big Walmart and Web3 artistic studio POCLab.
Co-founded by Simone Berry and Akbar Hamid, the New York-based Individuals of Crypto (POC) Lab launched in 2022, constructed across the beliefs of illustration, range, and inclusion. POCLab teamed up with Walmart to launch The Cultureverse, which Berry described as an immersive gamified expertise that “pays homage to hip-hop pioneers and delves into their journey and influence.”
“The Cultureverse was a brand new vertical that we, at POCLab, have been creating, increasing our mission to extend visible illustration and supply entry to rising expertise,” Berry informed Decrypt. “Our main goal has at all times been to leverage this expertise to create significant model experiences.”
The Cultureverse is Walmart’s newest foray into the still-nascent metaverse. In September 2022, the retail big launched “Walmart Land” and “Universe of Play” on the Roblox gaming and digital world-creation platform. Final November, Walmart additionally inked a deal with Issa Rae’s Hoorae Media to launch the Black & Limitless Digital Growth program—an incubator for black content material creators.
In The Cultureverse, hosted on Spatial—a metaverse platform that helps Ethereum NFTs—POCLab says guests can discover displays just like the Artwork of Sound gallery, that includes digital hip-hop artwork and artist tales. Customers can even soak up panels on the Walmart-sponsored Most important Stage to listen to influential voices in hip-hop, go to the Black & Limitless artwork gallery, and immerse themselves in hip-hop vogue historical past on the Sound of Model, together with a digital popup of ’90s black-owned manufacturers.
“Walmart’s Black & Limitless Platform instantly resonated with us,” Berry mentioned. “Their efforts in offering entry, driving belonging, and finally supercharging the black group’s potential in actual life made excellent sense to increase into the digital realm.”
Hip-hop, a cultural and musical phenomenon, originated within the early Seventies in New York Metropolis. A few of its early pioneers embrace Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, Sharon “MC Sha-Rock” Inexperienced, and The Sugarhill Gang. The traditional sound has many followers within the crypto house: in October 2021, music mogul Russell Simmons and music icon Snoop Dogg dropped a group of NFTs referred to as the Masterminds of Hip Hop, celebrating the period.
Whereas the hype across the metaverse might have cooled because the launch of a number of high-profile generative AI instruments like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the concept of connecting folks in digital worlds stays a high precedence for a lot of builders and content material creators, utilizing the expertise as a approach to join followers with the artist and music they love.
“Hip-hop, as a cultural motion, encompasses not solely music but in addition way of life, self-expression, and artistry,” Berry mentioned.
Berry defined that highlighting each the music and the manufacturers made well-known by hip-hop tradition was additionally essential to the challenge.
“These manufacturers performed an important function within the improvement of the hip-hop tradition, and now, they’re solidifying their place as first movers in each vogue and innovation inside The Cultureverse,” Berry mentioned.