[NFT] A Tribe Called Quest — Sound Recording Royalties

This exciting offering earns from tracks performed by the genre-defining, hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.

40.191 ETH

closing price

equivalent price (USD)

Auction Closed

Top Bid: Stephen F

The Theoretical IRR is a formulaic guideline based on an extrapolation of the normalized, historical earnings trend of the catalog. The Theoretical IRR is not a guarantee of future performance. It should be used for comparison purposes only. Each catalog has its own risk factors and the Theoretical IRR is not based upon a specific analysis of this catalog. Click here to view the basis for all Theoretical IRR calculations.

Historic royalty income is no indication of future royalty income. Future royalty income is dependent upon future sales and licensing revenue generated by the sound recordings or compositions associated with this listing.

Starting Price: 16.500 ETH
Bidding Increment: 0.159 ETH
Closing Price: 40.191 ETH
End Date: Jul 01, 2021, 3:13 PM MDT
Dollar Age:

29.15 Years

Last 12 Months' Royalties:


Investment Term: Life of author + 70 years
Distributors: Sony Music Entertainment
Rights Included:

Sales, Streaming, Sync

Interests Included:

Rightsholder - World (See Note Below)

Track List:

Track List

First Distribution (paid 30 days from receipt): September 30, 2021
Distribution Frequency: Biannually
Buyer Fees:

1% of closing price‡§

NFT Contract Address:


NFT Token ID:


Closing Documents:

Purchase Agreement and NFT Accounting Agreement*

*This auction is subject to the terms of the standard Purchase and Accounting Agreements linked above. The winning bidder will be required to transfer ETH to Royalty Exchange within one (1) business day after the auction closes. By placing a bid, you acknowledge that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms.

Investors placing the opening bid on any listing pay no buyer fee if they win the resulting auction, a savings of 1% off the final price. All Access members who already receive this discount will be rewarded with a cash rebate equal to the buyer fee.

§ Become a Royalty Exchange All Access Investor to waive auction fees and enjoy additional exclusive benefits.

What rights are included?

  Musical Composition Sound Recording
Copyrights included? No
Public Performance
Sources: Internet Streaming, AM/FM & Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, etc. Internet Streaming, Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements, Samples, etc.


Opportunities to earn from pioneering musicians don’t come around often… so don’t miss out on this one!

Up for bid are sound recording royalties from iconic and trailblazing hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest’s first five studio albums. Often touted as the pioneers of alternative hip-hop, A Tribe Called Quest’s music has stood the test of time with growth across top income sources and songs, 30 years after their first album was released. 

The winning bidder will collect royalties generated from sales, streaming, and sync fees for any of the included albums, as well as the individual singles, released by the group between 1990 to 1998. 

The format of this auction is a “non-fungible token” (NFT): a digital certificate of ownership created and stored on the Ethereum blockchain. All bidding will be conducted in Ether, the native currency of Ethereum. Royalties collected by the winning bidder will also be paid in Ether. For more details about Royalty Exchange NFT auctions, please read the article about NFT Auctions

Important Note: The smart contract for the NFT provides that the seller and Royalty Exchange will each automatically receive 5% of the purchase price for all secondary sales of the NFT, provided that such secondary sales take place via a marketplace that supports NFT resale royalty rights. If the NFT is transferred via a marketplace that does not support NFT smart contract resale royalty rights, Royalty Exchange will deduct a 5% accounting fee from the new NFT holder’s future royalty payments.


  • Valuable sound recording royalties from hip-hop pioneers
  • Impressive growth across top income sources
  • Established 29-year-old catalog 
  • Life of Rights investment term


Formed in 1988, A Tribe Called Quest is an iconic hip-hop group widely known and regarded as the founders of alternative hip-hop music. The group was originally composed of rapper and main producer Q-Tip, rapper Phife Dawg, DJ and co-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and rapper Jarobi White

The group is celebrated by critics and fans alike as the most intelligent, artistic rap group of the 1990s. A Tribe Called Quest accelerated and perfected alternative hip-hop — a stark departure from hardcore and gangsta rap — and focused on philosophy, social causes, and message tracks.

This catalog boasts singles from five of the group’s studio albums spanning eight years: People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990), The Low End Theory (1991), Midnight Marauders (1993), Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996), and The Love Movement (1998). 

Notable titles include “Can I Kick It?,” ''Bonita Applebum,” and “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” all on the group’s debut, Gold-certified album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. “Award Tour” from the group’s third album, Midnight Marauders. That album is widely regarded as the group's best work and one of the greatest hip-hop tracks of all time. Not to be overlooked are  “Check the Rhime” and “Scenario,” both popular songs from The Low End Theory.  


Overall, the top three sources — sync, streaming, and physical — for this catalog increased last year and combined account for 96% of total earnings. 

The top income source is sync with 48% of returns in the last 12 months and 40% of all historical earnings. The last year (2020) was particularly popular for sync licenses with placements in the following:

  • 2021 film Tom and Jerry (“Can I Kick It?”)
  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 video game soundtrack remaster (“Can I Kick It?”)
  • 2020 Pixar film Soul (“Check The Rhime”)
  • Netflix film 40-Year-Old Version ("Electric Relaxation") 
  • Hulu series High Fidelity ("Electric Relaxation")
  • Apple+ series Ted Lasso ("Award Tour")

Many of the licensed songs are close to 30 years old — indicating the longevity, relevance, and popularity of the tracks today. It’s also worth noting that syncs came from four individual songs providing diversity of earnings across several tracks. 

Streaming is right behind sync with 32% of last year’s royalties, up 11% year-over-year. 

The “collectible” status associated with the group is illustrated by soaring physical sales of vinyl records and increased vinyl purchases during the COVID pandemic. This “collectible” value can easily translate not only to the royalty stream but also to the collectible value of an NFT.

Finally, the catalog is remarkably diverse, with the highest-earning song — “Can I Kick It?” — accounting for only 27% of last year’s royalties and 17% of earnings to date. This means you’re not tied to the success of a single title and there is built-in diversity.

Key Drivers

Dollar Age. This catalog has a Dollar Age of 29.15 years. This means the catalog has earned for nearly 30 years. A high Dollar Age like this suggests stability and longevity. A catalog containing mature works is something worth noting as an investor, as it can help sustain a catalog's earnings moving forward.

Streaming Growth Worldwide. According to IFPI’S Global Music Report 2021, subscription streaming revenues for recorded music increased 18.5% over the previous year. That’s the sixth consecutive year of growth, totaling 443 million paid subscription accounts worldwide. Total streaming (including both paid subscription and advertising-supported) grew 19.9% and reached $13.4 billion, or 62.1% of total global recorded music revenues. 

Multiple Income Streams. The winner of this auction can receive royalties from various streams:

  • Sales: Royalties paid to artists and producers when a recording is sold, which can be downloaded (on a platform like Apple Music), as well as physical copies being sold (such as a vinyl record).
  • Streaming: Royalties paid to artists and producers when a recording is streamed “on-demand” (like Spotify or Apple Music) or "non-interactive" (like Pandora or Sirius XM).
  • Synchronization: Royalties paid to artists and producers for the licensing of a recording in music for a movie, TV show, or commercial.

what is being sold?

An interest in sound recording royalties derived from a management commission on the artist’s share of royalties in the recordings/albums outlined in the above "Track List." 

Similar Auctions


This action is restricted to Royalty Exchange users.
Please, sign in or create a free account to continue.

Sign In Register