Photo Credit: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Ali Shaheed Muhammad addressed the A Tribe Called Quest NFT in a Facebook post.
A Tribe Called Quest member Ali Shaheed Muhammad took to his Facebook on Sunday (July 4) saying that no member from the group was involved with the recent auction of a NFT (Non-fungible token) that gives the holder royalties from the group’s first five albums.
Muhammad began the post by dismissing reports about the NFT, primarily one from Billboard that shared that the hip-hop group had partnered with Royalty Exchange for the NFT. From there, he gets into how the NFT was the result of a clause in their agreement with Jive, which was added by Ed Chalpin, the founder of the label PPX Enterprises, and who represented A Tribe Called Quest alongside entertainment lawyer Ron Skoler.
“We had absolutely no affiliation with either of these gentlemen other than them representing us as our lawyer/’agent’ in negotiating the deal with Jive,” Muhammad wrote, before offering more details:
PPX aka Ed Chalpin added a clause to our agreement stating they get paid a percentage of our recording fund EVERY time we commenced to record a new album. We did not discover this hidden clause until we commenced to record The Low End Theory. We disputed this clause. Neither Ed or Ron ever told us about this bullshit language in the agreement. It was unwarranted and where I come from “crooked.” Ed sued us and he lost. He appealed the case. He was rich and had deep pockets to litigate. We however were not rich. We were kids with a dream, an album slowly selling and deeply in debt to our record company.
We were determined to not to be taken advantage of by PPX Enterprises. We wanted to fight on. Jive offered to help us with our lack of capital to litigate the appeal however they required us to sign a sixth album with them. Without any other means to get this (do not use slanderous adjectives) entity out of our lives, we signed for the 6th album, added Phife to the contract and Jive made the PPX issue disappear or so we thought.
From there, Muhammad shared how he learned from the Billboard article that PPX “sold their share of a settlement they made with Jive Records to an individual whom entered into a partnership with Royalty Exchange,” before adding, “Be clear that is the NFT that was created and auctioned.”
After sharing the post, Muhammad responded to some comments from fans, including one where someone said they hoped the purchaser is “a true fan, and not just an opportunist.”
“I hope this person is a true fan and I also hope they are willing to see this share returned to the group,” Muhammad said in response.
“Had we known this percentage of our art was out there we would have bought it directly from PPX Enterprises as it should have never been sold by Jive Records,” he wrote.
The winning bid for the NFT came from someone named Stephen F. The bid was 40.191 ETH, which is about $84,765 American dollars. There were more than 60 bids on the NFT.