Soulja Boy, the self-proclaimed “first rapper” of many endeavors, can take some credit in the relaunch of LimeWire, as it is now returning as a NFT (non-fungible token) marketplace. The vintage file-sharing platform was once known as the millennial go-to platform for downloading music (although it was very much illegal).
The rapper and entrepreneur took to his Instagram account to share a 60-second commercial revealing the company’s news. Complemented by his breakout viral hit “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” in the background, the clip starts with students waiting for the school bell as one boy doodles the LimeWire logo on his notebook. Once school is out, two students rush home to download the 2007 smash on a bulky desktop computer, before burning it to a CD (hello, nostalgia). The 31-year-old’s “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” was one of the most downloaded songs on LimeWire.
The scene then transitions to the two young students as adults working in an office. The two rush upstairs to a lounge area where they sign up for the now imagined LimeWire NFT marketplace set for users to be able to “explore, collect and trade unique digital collectibles.”
“Our ad is both a love letter to the 2000s and a celebration of the new LimeWire,” the company’s global creative director Florestan Rösemann said in a statement. “Just like the characters in the commercial, many of us were teenagers when LimeWire first was around and are now grown-ups to see the relaunch of the brand.”
Founded in 2000 by ex-Wall Street trader Mark Gorton, the music-sharing platform shut down in 2010 after a hefty lawsuit with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A federal New York court ruled in favor of RIAA that LimeWire knowingly caused a “massive scale of infringement” by giving users access to thousands of copyrighted items by its massive monthly users.
Now, LimeWire is back. But this time with legal intentions. It will allow its users to not only buy and own original songs from their favorite artists but enjoy unreleased demos and music videos. Users will also have access to event tickets, album cover art, and more from today’s “globally renowned and emerging artists.”