The History of Rolling Stone and NFTs

The popular magazine Rolling Stone has a long history of supporting counter-culture narratives, and it is no different when it comes to NFTs and blockchain technology.

Digital collectible ownership and various web3 technological advancements are changing how art, music, and a plethora of other industries value creators and interact with audiences. Rolling Stone recognized this shift and dove head-first into NFTs as early as late 2021.

Below is a complete list of every Rolling Stone NFT collection and a detailed history of the magazine's foray into the web3 space.

Rolling Stone NFT Collections

Rolling Stone entered the NFT scene in November 2021. It has since launched four major NFT collaborations with Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Coinbase, and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova.

Bored Ape Yacht Club Magazine Covers

In November 2021, Rolling Stone made NFT history. The Economist, TIME, Fortune, and Vogue all had already released NFT magazine covers, but Rolling Stone had a special trick up its sleeve: a partnership with Yuga Labs.

The two magazine cover variations, which feature Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club characters, released in limited-edition physical format a week prior to the launch of the NFT auction. The physical covers were limited to 2,500 total magazines. 

The auction took place on SuperRare, an Ethereum-based digital art marketplace, and lasted for five days.

The Rolling Stone x Bored Ape Yacht Club Cover sold for 100.415 ETH (or $451,400 at the time) after an intense bidding war. The Rolling Stone x Mutant Ape Yacht Club Cover sold for about half its counterpart’s price tag at 47 ETH (or $211,200 at the time).

The Rolling Stone x BAYC Cover sale came in slightly above The Economist’s NFT cover sale of ~$419,000 two weeks prior and slightly below New York Times’ NFT column sale of ~$500,000 a few months prior.

BAYC and MAYC 1/1s

In June 2022, Rolling Stone continued its partnership with Yuga Labs by releasing two new Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club-inspired magazine covers. The new covers sold as physical art prints and as 1/1 NFTs. 

Rolling Stone created the covers exclusively for this partnership release. The physical art prints sold directly on BAYC’s website for $100 in APE, Yuga Labs’ ApeCoin utility token, while OpenSea, the premier non-fungible token marketplace, auctioned off the NFT versions. 

The Rolling Stone x Bored Ape Yacht Club 2022 Collab sold for 42,106.050 APE (or ~$210,000 at the time).The Rolling Stone x Mutant Ape Yacht Club 2022 Collab sold for 22,696.969 APE (or ~$113,000 at the time), both failing to reach the heights of the first collaboration between Rolling Stone and Yuga Labs.

The auction winners received the original collector’s item signed by the founders of Yuga Labs and the CEO of Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone Live 2022

In February 2022, Rolling Stone announced its partnership with Coinbase NFT, a peer-to-peer digital collectibles marketplace, and 12 of the industry's top artists to launch an exclusive NFT collection for Rolling Stone Live concert participants.

The collaboration featured popular web3 projects and artists, including: Deadfellaz, Elise Swoopes (Displaced: Giraffe in the City, Apple), Boss Beauties, KidEight (EVOL), MikeGrillMadeIt (Rennaisauce, Da Burning Bush), MarkTheHabibi (Habibi), Domino (Presessence Vol. 1), Giant Swan, Alida Sun (Art Blocks), Jeff Manning (20th Century Fox, Adidas), Mister Goldie (Scary Garys), and Emonee LaRussa (Voice).

Matriarchy Now With Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova

In January 2023, Rolling Stone teamed up with Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova and German photographer and fashion model Ellen von Unwerth to release ‘Matriarchy Now,’ an 11-piece NFT collection named after the band’s hit album.

The launch, spearheaded by a unique 1/1 NFT Rolling Stone magazine cover similar to the Yuga Labs releases, took place on Coinbase NFT. All of the proceeds from the magazine cover sale support women’s reproductive rights through a UnicornDAO LegalAbortion.ETH via Endaoment.

Tolokonnikova’s UnicornDAO has raised millions of dollars for charities.

‘Matriarchy Now’ is the first official collaboration between Rolling Stone and Nadya Tolokonnikova, but the magazine previously supported her effort to raise funds for Ukraine through an NFT sale via UkraineDAO. The 1/1 NFT of the Ukrainian flag went toward Come Back Alive, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 

UkraineDAO raised more than $400,000 in the first 12 hours of its NFT sale.

The History of NFTs and Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone’s multi-year history with NFTs is well-documented and robust. Below are answers to some of the most pressing questions about how Rolling Stone thinks and feels about digital assets.

When Did Rolling Stone First Get Into NFTs?

Rolling Stone launched its first-ever NFT partnership in November 2021 with Yuga Labs.

The magazine released two limited-edition physical covers and 1/1 NFT collectibles in collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club. 

In March 2021, Rolling Stone mentioned NFTs in its magazine for the first time. “Porn creators are getting in on the NFT craze,” the headline read

What Has Rolling Stone Said About NFTs?

Rolling Stone has attached itself to the NFT movement by comparing its coverage of counter-culture narratives to the digital world’s general punk-like vibe.

“The cultural groundswell associated with these artists is in line with movements Rolling Stone has covered for decades," Rolling Stone president Gus Wenner said in a press release. "The Bored Apes’ shared love of music and counter-culture made them fantastic collaborators to bring this unique project to life with.”

The magazine reiterated that comparison in its second collaboration release with Yuga Labs.

“We are thrilled to continue partnering with Bored Ape Yacht Club,” said Wenner. “Our collaboration was born from a shared passion for music and counter-culture, and we are excited to release a brand-new set of works that capture the spirit of the Bored Apes and Rolling Stone.”

Yuga Labs returned the sentiment.

“We love Rolling Stone and with our second collaboration we wanted to create an awesome NFT moment and prints that were more widely accessible”, said Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs. “Our communities have a lot of similarities and I can’t wait to see how people display the prints in homes, shops, restaurants, and more.”

What NFT Projects Has Rolling Stone Partnered With?

To date, Rolling Stone has partnered with Yuga Labs, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova to create unique NFT collections. 

It also partnered with Deadfellaz, Elise Swopes, Boss Beauties, Kideight, Mikegrillmadeit, Markthehabibi, Domino, Giant Swan, Alida Sun, Jeff Manning, Mister Goldie, and Emonee LaRussa to reimagine its iconic logo and promote the return of Rolling Stone Live.

Will Rolling Stone Continue to Support NFTs in the Future?

While the future is always uncertain, it seems like Rolling Stone will continue to collaborate with NFT projects and platforms in the future.

The magazine has already used SuperRare, OpenSea, and Coinbase to launch NFT collections. It has also written about the technology on numerous occasions, and Rolling Stone's CEO, Gus Wenner, has publicly supported digital collectibles.

Speaking of the Rolling Stone Live 2022 collaboration with Coinbase NFT, Rolling Stone wrote, "The event marks the beginning of an ongoing partnership between Rolling Stone and cryptocurrency platform Coinbase."