A brand new digital expertise, The Cultureverse, launched immediately to commemorate the golden anniversary of hip-hop music, the results of a collaboration between retail large Walmart and Web3 artistic studio POCLab.
Co-founded by Simone Berry and Akbar Hamid, the New York-based People 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 affect.”
“The Cultureverse was a brand new vertical that we, at POCLab, have been growing, increasing our mission to extend visible illustration and supply entry to rising expertise,” Berry informed Decrypt. “Our main goal has all the time 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 large 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 reveals just like the Artwork of Sound gallery, that includes digital hip-hop artwork and artist tales. Customers may absorb panels on the Walmart-sponsored Primary Stage to listen to influential voices in hip-hop, go to the Black & Limitless artwork gallery, and immerse themselves in hip-hop trend historical past on the Sound of Fashion, 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 in the end supercharging the black neighborhood’s potential in actual life made good sense to increase into the digital realm.”
Hip-hop, a cultural and musical phenomenon, originated within the early Nineteen 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 basic sound has many followers within the crypto area: in October 2021, music mogul Russell Simmons and music icon Snoop Dogg dropped a group of NFTs known as the Masterminds of Hip Hop, celebrating the period.
Whereas the hype across the metaverse might have cooled for the reason that launch of a number of high-profile generative AI instruments like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the thought of connecting individuals in digital worlds stays a high precedence for a lot of builders and content material creators, utilizing the expertise as a option to join followers with the artist and music they love.
“Hip-hop, as a cultural motion, encompasses not solely music but additionally 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 venture.
“These manufacturers performed a vital position within the growth of the hip-hop tradition, and now, they’re solidifying their place as first movers in each trend and innovation inside The Cultureverse,” Berry mentioned.