[GRANT APPLICATION] Raised on Hip Hop (Atlanta)

Project Name: Raised on Hip Hop (Atlanta)

Description: Raised on Hip Hop is an AR music discovery system, market, and Web3 adoption tool for local emerging artists, fans, and commerce. Launching in Atlanta, it uses blockchain for cultural archive and education, preserving the past and activating the future of hip hop.

Vision: Retelling Hip Hop History city by city, introducing a repeatable gaming activation for Web3 adoption and digital tourism through cultural landmarks and local music markets.


Web3 communities have been defined by a select group of global strangers, creating an imagined community. Only a few have succeeded with this approach. Web3 adoption and funding have overlooked the authenticity that comes from local pride and its relationship with broader culture. The nuanced and organic authenticity of grassroots culture, like Hip Hop, is inaccessible to many funded Web3 builders.

Hip Hop is 50, so it’s been trademarked by Mass Appeal Media Group, but this statement is ahistorical and is another reason why the immutability of Blockchain tech is underused for the archiving of culture. As a native New Yorker and global citizen, I have witnessed Hip Hop manifest in various ways worldwide. New technologies like XR and Blockchain allow us to tell a more nuanced story while supporting local Hip Hop musicians and their ongoing contributions to the economy.

The current Web3 music market is dominated by crypto-rich individuals who have created an inflated market and a peculiar financial culture of scarcity. This culture is used to onboard musicians with false hope, diverting them from true opportunities. The current market does not reflect the preferences of everyday music fans, who do not see music as a scarce commodity.

Musicians are instructed to sell their music but are not guided on starting a business and cultivating a community in Web3. As a result, they become consumers of platforms driven by speculation and individual gain. This capitalist approach has failed musicians and their relationship with fans throughout the evolution of the web. ie. Platforms like Spotify prioritize fans’ connection with the platform rather than fostering a connection with musicians.

Atlanta is known as a music town but also aspires to become the next American tech hub. However, similar to the economic growth and equity gap created by the Olympics in the late '90s, Atlanta faces challenges. We aim to reimagine a new adoption pipeline that empowers the overlooked through Web3 education and entrepreneurship, using Hip Hop as a vehicle.


Atlanta, consisting of six zones within the city limits, we now envision an additional seventh zone to encompass the greater ATL area. This expansion is prompted by the upbringing of many Hip Hop artists in these regions and the impact of gentrification, which has pushed artists further away from the city center. A map created by our archive partner, illustrator Joseph Veazy, illustrates this shift. Artists from the pre-Olympics era are indicated by blue arrows, while those from the post-Olympics period are represented by yellow and pink arrows.

Zones hold significant cultural importance in Atlanta, both within the city and in the realm of Hip Hop. People strongly identify with their zones, even though these areas are officially designated as policing zones.

The Product, Overview/Go-to-Market:

To engage users, we have developed seven AR experiences or mixtapes featuring artists and ATL OG storytimes from each zone. By tapping the mixtape 3D object, it reveals different UV wrap artwork associated with the zone.

Scan the QR code below to enjoy Zone 7, our launch experience (fully built by July 9).

Users can access these mixtapes through four methods:

  • Tangible objects (Zone flyers/ and QR Code stickers on store products) placed in zone-specific local businesses.

  • Instagram Lives that educate musicians/fans about Web3

-Live events in partnership with local media.

-Within the AR experience, users can easily share the content with friends and family.

The Product, From AR to NFT:

Within the experience, with a simple click and email, users receive a new wallet and a free DAP (Digital Access Pass, TM) or NFT associated with that specific zone. This functionality is made possible by Payken.io, a black-owned Web3 startup based in Atlanta. It is crucial to note that DAPs (with one “P”) emphasizes the importance of trust through language, especially given the misuse and abuse that has damaged the NFT and broader Web3 lexicon. The shift from NFT to DAP signifies a transition from asset-based thinking to a focus on access.

DAPs provide users with access to micro AR metaverses centered around Hip Hop landmarks. Within these landmarks, such as the renowned Patchwerk Studios, users can record themselves performing their own rhymes alongside the instrumentals of featured artists. This allows them to create content that can be shared across social media platforms, establishing a collectible connection between the past and the present.

The Product, Experience to Education and Market:

These seven micro metaverses will evolve into zone-themed markets for creatives, transforming cultural output into commerce. In collaboration with the black-owned Atlanta Blockchain Center and the woman-owned Lola Co-working space in Atlanta, we are developing a workshop series and curriculum specific to Raised on Hip Hop. These workshops will demonstrate how musicians can leverage their local status, culture and NFTs (DAPs) to generate revenue. The micro metaverses, shaped by their Hip Hop roots, will serve as a resource.

The Product, Revenue Model(2023-2024):

-Initially, local sponsorship for the splash page of the AR experience.

-We aim to collaborate with the ATL Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote ATL DAPs as a new tech tourism offering, thereby expanding the market of experiences and enhancing the city’s brand as a Web3-enabled destination.

-Leveraging our connections with renowned Atlanta artists, to organize metaverse events.

-Additionally, we will transform our archive of ATL interviews into a permanent metaverse exhibition supported by sponsorship and NFT product sales.


We are excited to debut the experience and app MVP on July 15th and 21st in partnership with Payken, the popular hip hop store Closette, and the renowned venue The Loft located above Center Stage here in Atlanta. Our goal is to onboard 500-1000 new wallets, engaging both Atlantans and musicians. Data analytics from these events will be available upon request.

The experience is connected to Google Analytics, providing us with the necessary data to strengthen our preliminary conversations with A. Bradford and D. Beamer, who are leading the city’s foray into Web3. Their attention is focused on us.

We have secured commitments from The Atlanta Blockchain Center for free use of their space for education, and we will be meeting with Lola later this week.

Our IG ad campaign will launch on July 10, followed by our IG Live sessions on July 12. Data analytics from these events will be available upon request.

The entire team, except Veazey, is either black-woman or person.

  • Hanifah Walidah, B909 Creative and Raised on Hip Hop Founder, \30 years on stage, in the studio and around the table. Web3 Curator.

  • Ed Young, Advisor Owner of NFT.hiphop. Hip Hop legend and co-founder and marketing head of Source Magazine.

  • Michael Blacksone, XR Builder, 10 years experience building XR environments. Head of Propagation.House on Spaital.io

  • Tiffany Griffin, THAT GIRL Local ATL Events Promoter/Connector

  • Mbye Nije and Jason Ford of PAYKEN Web3 Wallet/NFT minting platform

Additional Support:
Joesph Veazey, ATL Hip Hop History Map Creator
Marlon Williams, Founder, Atlanta Blockchain Center

Grant Amount Requested: $10,000


  • Equipment for scanning landmarks: $2000
  • Scaled locally targeted IG and Tik Tok Ads: $2,000
  • Social media manager and VA: $2,500
  • Additional Printing costs: $2,000
  • Annual Subscriptions: $1,500

Additional Documents/Resources: [Provide relevant documents]
Deck: bit.ly/ROHHATL-InvestmentDeck

How did you hear about MGD’s Funding program?
I met a MGD rep at ETH Denver 2022 and applied previously.

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