Walmart Celebrates Hip-Hop’s 50th Anniversary with Metaverse Experience

Published On: August 30, 2023505 words3 min readBy:

Walmart, the multinational retail corporation, is venturing into the metaverse in collaboration with People of Crypto Lab, a Web3 creative studio. This move is part of Walmart’s strategy to align with the cultural zeitgeist and leverage the potential of Web3. The partnership will launch Cultureverse, a gamified, immersive experience in the Spatial metaverse, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Hip-Hop and the transformative influence of Black culture.

Cultureverse aims to honor the pioneering spirits of Hip-Hop while exploring its evolution and persistent cultural impact on various domains such as art, music, and fashion. Moreover, it seeks to expand technology access for Black creators.

Walmart plans to enhance its Black & Unlimited platform, which is designed to promote Black creators, makers, and entrepreneurs through bespoke programming and collaborations. Justin Breton, Director of Brand Experiences and Strategic Partnerships at Walmart, expressed that they are always on the lookout for innovative ways to connect with their customers where they spend their time. He believes that Cultureverse provides a unique opportunity to bring Walmart’s Black & Unlimited platform into the virtual world for the first time. The initiative aims to inspire a new generation of Black creators, entrepreneurs, and culture builders while creating real-world impact.

Walmart made its debut in the metaverse in 2021 with experiences on Roblox after filing trademarks for the sale of virtual goods as well as tokens and currency. Its Store No.8 incubator arm also collaborated with Outlier Ventures on an accelerator program for Web3 related startups in June.

People of Crypto’s Web3-first creative studio was launched in 2021 with the mission to increase visibility for underrepresented communities. It blends design, technology, and brand-building to create culturally relevant digital experiences that bridge fashion, gaming, and entertainment. The studio uses Web3 to drive connection and shape culture. In 2021, it partnered with L’Oréal owned NYX Cosmetics and The Sandbox to celebrate Pride Month with a collection of 8,430 avatars representing diverse ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identifications, and different makeup looks.

As platforms like SYKY and ZTX release programs supporting creators, POC Lab’s decision to extend its scope to champion Black creators specifically is a significant milestone, according to Simone Berry, Co-founder of POClab. She emphasized that their initiative aims to inspire a new generation of Black creators and foster an environment of innovation and inclusivity. They continue their mission to drive meaningful digital connections between brands and consumers.

People of Crypto (POC) Lab was co-founded by Berry and Akbar Hamid. It has received backing from key partners and investors including The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, Gaingels, ConcreteRose, and Tess Ventures.

This partnership between Walmart and People of Crypto Lab exemplifies how traditional retail giants are embracing the metaverse and Web3 technologies to create immersive experiences for their customers. It also highlights the importance of crypto education platforms like POC Lab in promoting inclusivity and diversity in the emerging digital landscape. It is expected that more brands will follow suit, making investments in blockchain technology and crypto exchange services to build their presence in the metaverse.

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