TORONTO, ON – October 13, 2021 – Legendary recording artist Erick Sermon of the iconic hip-hop group, EPMD, has teamed up with renowned Canadian-Indigenous artist, record producer, engineer, and long-time collaborator, David Strickland, and The NFT Agency, to create an official non-fungible token (NFT) collection celebrating the hip-hop luminary’s esteemed career. On October 20, the collection will be featured as a curated drop at Crypto.com/NFT, the global cryptocurrency platform’s NFTmarketplace. It will include six NFTs featuring original artwork by Strickland —highlighting moments from Sermon’s career as a member of EPMD, the founder of Def Squad and as a solo artist.
A PORTION OF THE NFT PROCEEDS TO BE DONATED TO SUPPORT INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVORS SOCIETY
“I have created an extensive body of work in hip-hop and I’m looking forward to this new digital medium,” Erick says. “I am pleased to announce that I will be releasing a collaboration with David Strickland. I have watched this dude evolve, and this is an example of that. No matter what, he always had my back — ready to work. NFTs are a game-changer. Def Squad Digital.”
David adds, “I am very excited to be entering the NFT space with my art and hopefully use it as a medium to raise money for causes that are dear to my heart and community.”
The announcement follows acclaimed new music releases by both artists. The NFT collection itself is being released in promotion of Strickland’s latest single, Messenger, a collaboration with Sermon, Toronto rap veteran, Saukrates, and Outlaw by Nature — a supergroup consisting of Treach from Naughty by Nature and the late Hussein Fatal of the Outlawz, a collective famously founded by Tupac Shakur. Sermon also recently appeared alongside EPMD groupmate, Parrish Smith, and Eminem on Nas’ ode to the iconic group, EPMD 2 — one of the most buzzed-about tracks from the latter’s acclaimed 2021 album, King’s Disease II.
LISTEN TO THE LATEST SINGLE MESSENGERFEATURING ERICK SERMON, SAUKRATES AND OUTLAW BY NATURE
“Erick Sermon is a hip-hop legend with such an illustrious career, and he’s one of those special few who continues to release timeless music that still resonates,” said Crypto.com Executive Vice President and Global Head of NFT, Joe Conyers III. “The work he’s doing with David Strickland is really interesting, both conceptually and artistically, and the cause they’re supporting is so important and timely. We’re very excited to give them a platform for this collection.”
A Grammy-winning engineer who has worked on projects by artists including Sermon, EPMD, Drake, Method Man, Redman, Pete Rock and Keith Murray as well as a who’s who of both the Toronto and Indigenous hip-hop communities, Strickland is also an accomplished visual artist who connects with his Mi’kmaq ancestry — as well as his passion for music and hip-hop culture — to create works that have been displayed at major galleries including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Earlier this year, Strickland won three International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards for his acclaimed 2020 album, Spirit Of Hip Hop. The album brought together artists from various North American hip-hop communities while continuing to champion Indigenous hip-hop artists. Among those featured include Supaman, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Artson, Que Rock, Drezus, Leonard Sumner, Joey Styles, Chippewa Travellers and more alongside hip-hop icons EPMD and Def Squad (Redman, Erick Sermon, and Keith Murray) as well as Canadian legends, Saukrates, Maestro Fresh Wes and a posthumous verse from King Reign.
About David Strickland
David “Gordo” Strickland is an Indigenous, Toronto-born, and based award-winning engineer, mixer, producer, and DJ. Known for being behind the boards on iconic Hip-Hop and R&B records for over two decades, his work has graced seminal tracks by the likes of Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, EPMD, Keith Murray, Redman, and Method Man, to records by ground-breaking Toronto hip-hop acts, including k-os, Ghetto Concept, Jelleestone, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Choclair and Drake.
David has deep family roots running generations back to the East Coast along Mi’kmaq lines. His latest album, Spirit Of Hip Hop (June 29, 2020, Entertainment One), highlights some of North America’s Hip Hop progenitors and innovative Indigenous artists alike to share an embodiment of the teachings, art, traditions, and music of the community, aligned with his Indigenous heritage. Spirit Of Hip Hop (Remixes) arrived on November 20, 2020, as a follow-up featuring fresh takes on the album tracks by Gordo himself, and some of his esteemed colleagues. From control room to canvas, David is also a prolific visual artist that has been featured at many galleries across Canada.
He continues to be a positive force in music, the arts and an inspiration to First Nations Youth across North America. www.davidstricklandstudios.com
About MNRK Music Group
MNRK Music Group is one of the largest independent music companies in the world, with recording, music publishing, and management divisions operating in every major music market. MNRK is committed to discovering and guiding leading music creators and talent and is home to numerous top-tier artists, the iconic Death Row Records and the music publishing catalog of Chuck Berry, plus premier music companies Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang. Its catalog across divisions consists of 54,000 music tracks, including multiple GRAMMY winners and platinum-selling hits. To learn more visit www.mnrk.com.
Crypto.com NFT is a carefully curated platform for collecting and trading non-fungible tokens by creators, celebrities, and brands from the worlds of art, design, entertainment, sports, and fashion — including the Aston Martin Formula One Team, Beatport, BossLogic, Boy George, Diego Perrone, Heavy Metal Magazine, Lega Serie A, Lionel Richie, Mr. Brainwash and Snoop Dogg, among many other high-profile artists and clients. Established in March 2021, Crypto.com NFT is powered by Crypto.com — which serves over 10 million customers with the world’s fastest-growing crypto app, the Crypto.com Visa Card, the Crypto.com Exchange, and the Crypto.com Defi Wallet. More information is available at Crypto.com/NFT. Follow Crypto.com NFT on Twitter and Instagram: @cryptocomnft.
About Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS)
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) has over twenty-five years of experience in providing emotional and cultural support to Indian Residential school Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors. IRSSS has offices throughout British Columbia and operates a Canada-wide crisis helpline for those in need. The organization also assists those impacted by Indian Day Schools, MMIWG, the 60’s Scoop, 2SLGBTQ+, Indian Hospitals and Crisis Support. We also offer educational workshops on the history and impacts of Indian Residential Schools and healing and wellness workshops.
More than 150,000 Indigenous children – First Nations, Inuit and Métis – were forced from their homes to attend these neglectful institutions of assimilation and oppression. As a non-profit organization, IRSSS’ ability to provide care is truly enhanced by contributions from the community. We are honoured to do this work, to assist in the wellness of those who survived, and to remember those who were never made it home. www.irsss.ca