Delence A. Sheares Sr. – Versebooks.com

Words + Interview By Lucky Smith

Want to be an NFT? An NFT (non-fungible token) is described as a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger (blockchain). NFT’s are heavy on the rise and have been utilized by both superstars and average Joes alike, generating millions of dollars for some. With that being said, Meet Delence A. Sheares Sr., Chairman/CEO and Co-Founder of VerseBooks, Inc., an innovative entertainment-based app and NFT marketplace. During his conversation with us, Delence talks NFTs, his love for and the cultural significance of of the Wu-Tang Clan, music, the mini-feature “Black Salt” and versebooks.com.

First off, introduce yourself for us.
Shalawam, I am Delence A. Sheares Sr., Chairman/CEO and Co-Founder of VerseBooks, Inc. which was launched from an idea my partner Ryan Larry (President and Co-Founder) came up with in October of 2020. How did you two come together to create the company? Ryan and I met in September of 2020 through Richard, a mu-tual business associate and friend who connected us together regarding an app development project that Ryan was putting together for his luxury clothing brand, Saint Esor. Ryan lives in Columbus, Ohio seasonally and I live 2 hours away in Toledo, Ohio. On his way down to my office for our initial meeting, Ryan had a call with Matthew “M-80” Markoff regarding a verse licensing service that they had been operating for some time together in an unofficial mutually beneficial capacity.

During our meeting, Ryan brought up the idea and asked me if it was something that I thought could be turned into a business model via an app platform. I added my experiential knowledge of app development, blockchain, NFTs and smart contracts to the mix while informing him that in my profes-sional opinion the idea would revolutionize the music industry. Before the conclusion of our meeting I offered Ryan a develop-ment and partnership opportunity to move forward with the idea and the rest was history.

What exactly is VerseBooks?
VerseBooks is more than an app. It is the redefinition of innovation for the music industry with so many different use cases and advantages. It is the perfect mixture between music, art, technology and culture. VerseBooks in short is a music creator centric NFT marketplace which enables music artists, creators, DJs, record labels, songwriters, producers etc. to protect their music intellectual property using the power of smart contracts via NFTs. Unlike your traditional NFT marketplace, VerseBooks enables you to write your lyrics using our platform and convert your lyrics into smart contracts using our technology platform under a SaaS (Software as a Service) model.

The smart contract created by turning your actual lyrics into NFTs is similar to the old “Poor Man’s Copyright” because it creates an immutable time stamp on the blockchain with the meta data of the song lyrics including your ownership details. We have also created an API which can push the meta data to your performing rights organization such as ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI and/or the US Copyright office to further register your music intellectual property using the traditional methods. VerseBooks is a social marketplace as well where using our VersePools features, music creators can collaborate on creating new music using smart contracts and fractional ownership of the music IP. In order to protect and store the NFTs we have created an easy to use internal VerseWallet which is unlike most NFT Marketplaces that require you to login into a third party wallet to engage with their marketplace and sometimes, that can be very difficult for someone new to blockchain.

VerseBooks is also innovative in the sense that it enables a direct to fan engagement strategy for all types of music creators to release songs, albums, soundtracks, instrumentals, EPs and more directly to their fans using NFTs. This cuts out the middle men and allows the music creators to obtain a much higher percentage of their revenue from their content unlike traditional methods of distribution such as streaming or using a traditional record label. Even a record label can use VerseBooks to release content directly to fans and earn greater revenue and return on their investments. VerseBooks is a prime and key innovation in the music creation process and is helping music creators of all kind take control of their music careers and intellectual property. With the power of social media as a marketing tool, any music creator can mint NFTs using VerseBooks and directly release them to their fan base as a music collectible. Their fans can then stream the music directly using the VerseBooks platform including on the web or mobile apps.

Very dope. What made you decide to start with Wu-Tang Clan and what is your connection with them?
We decided to work with the Wu-Tang Clan because they are Hip-Hop royalty and are a dynamic pillar to the culture. Our connection with them beyond being fans of Wu-Tang Clan is that they are one of the first artists which we unboarded content in the form of NFTs onto the VerseBooks platform in the form of AudioVerses. Thanks to the relationships of our Director of Music Licensing/A&R Matthew “M-80 Markoff; he ushered in a direct relationship with Wu-Tang Clan for VerseBooks to help empower our business model, credibility, and to foster innovation with a Hip-Hop powerhouse such as the WU.

What does Wu-Tang mean to the culture from your POV?
When you think about the 36 chambers and the innovation and independence of music creativity; you think about Wu-Tang. When you reflect upon the culture of music, film, and art; you think about Wu-Tang Clan. There are not many historic MC’s who personify the epitome of Hip-Hop while over decades having a style that seems to transform with the culture while maintaining originality.

Do you think they get the recognition they deserve?
I think that they get the recognition that they deserve to the extent that no one can deny their greatness. I think that in the sense of do they receive the utmost honor that they should as being Hip-Hop royalty; NO! However, Wu-Tang Clan is likened unto a fine piece of art or a renown master artist like Picasso or Rembrant of Hip-Hop who won’t be fully acknowl-edged unto the dawn of their transcendence from this physical world into the spiritual realm.

Tell us about the film, “Black Salt”.
Black Salt is a Black Superhero film franchise created by Owen Ratliff of Ratti Entertainment. It also has a direct connection with Wu-Tang Clan and VerseBooks as the record by myself (IamGoldFInger) “Black Superhero” Ft. RZA is from the of-ficial film soundtrack of the Black Salt mini feature film. It has been released on VerseBooks as a NFT and it is epic in the sense that it represents the power of the independent black owned film production company breaking into mainstream with a complete film franchise including comic book, graphic novel, video game and merchandise.

Black Salt is a film that reflects the culture of Hip-Hop, Shaolin, Martial Arts,and Black Superheros. The film synopsis is a CIA’s deadliest agent uncovers a plot by an ancient secret society that can wipe out any ethnic group off the face of the Earth. With the success of Marvel’s, Black Panther grossing over a billion dollars in the box office in less than 30 days, now comes Samuel Lincoln Tharpe better known as Black Salt.

Black Salt is an action film franchise based on a comic book series. The story is an epic thriller merging the world of modern-day espionage and political intrigue with the ancient world of martial arts. Yu Bai Shek runs across a young African American boy and his mother just as they are assaulted by common street thugs. The Shaolin master saves the boy but the mother tragi-cally dies from an accidental knife stab to the heart. Filled with compassion and acting against his sacred traditions, Master Yu resolves to raise and train the newly orphaned boy. The boy’s name is SAMUAL LINCOLN THARPE aka Black Salt.

Ben Ramsey directed the Black Salt mini-feature. He has also directed Love and a Bullet, Blood and Bone and written The Big Hit, Dragonball: Evolution and Luke Cage for Marvel Comics. The stellar and talented cast is comprised of Kinyumba Mu-takabbir (True to the Game 2, Iron Man 3), Michelle Charlene Lee (Black Widow, Venom), James Lew (won an Emmy for Luke Cage) and Ron Yuan (Mulan, The Accountant). Owen Ratliff is the creator of the Black Salt franchise and has co-produced a psychological thriller entitled Unstable Minds. He also pro-duced a boxing proof of concept film entitled Get Up Joe and Umoya.

The Black Salt mini-feature has turn into a cult classic. It also won the HBO/Cinemax Urban Action Showcase out of 250 films and received a licensing deal. HBO confirmed that it has accumulated well-over 5 million views across all Max plat-forms. The Black Salt: Corruption video game will be released in the fourth quarter of 2021 on Steam and Nintendo Switch and has deals with Xbox and Sony PlayStation.

So, the first NFT is the Wu-Tang Jordan 111. Explain what that is and what’s included?
VerseBooks will host the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Jordan III Pro-totype Sneaker Auction and exclusive NFT artwork. VerseBooks is one of the first black owned music NFT marketplaces, lever-aging the power of blockchain technology and smart contracts. The platform also specializes in other genres of entertainment. VerseBooks enables any user such as a songwriter, record label, publishing company, filmmaker, artist, producer or fan to mint NFTs from various forms of content including lyrics, audio verses, instrumentals, album artwork, video visuals, GIFs, songs and sell the product on our marketplace. The auction started on October 1, 2021, and will last for 30 days on www.versebooks.com and had an open bid of $20,000 for the 1 of 1 Wu-Tang Jordan III Prototype Sneaker. RZA, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God, Young Dirty Bastard, Mathematics, Killah Priest and Cappadonna.

The winner of the Sneaker auction will receive the following:
• 1 of 1 Wu-Tang Jordan III Prototype Sneaker
• An exclusive NFT artwork of the
• A digital copy of the Black Salt mini-feature film.
• A copy of the Black Superhero single featuring RZA.
• Exclusive NFT artwork of the autographed 1of 1 Wu-Tang Jordan III Prototype Sneaker
• The autographed 1 of 1 Wu-Tang Jordan III Prototype Sneaker.
• Black Salt mini-feature film.

Do you have any other NFT’s consumers can purchase?
Yes, we have various other NFTs available on the platform including the new hit record Black Superhero ft. RZA NFT for $1 which also includes the autographed artwork 1 of 1 Wu-Tang Jordan III Prototype sneaker. The unique thing about VerseBooks is that ANY visual artists or music creator can sign up to our platform and mint their own NFTs to sell to our growing userbase or their fans and followers. We charge a 8% commission for the sale of the NFTs and the remaining 92% goes directly to the creator. The creators can also determine a perpetual royalty to receive from the resale of their NFT; where every time their NFT is resold forever they will receive a royalty directly sent to their VerseWallet via a smart contract enabling the creator to not have to rely on a middle man.

When can they access the Wu-Tang Clan Jordan 111?
They can access the Wu-Tang Clan Jordan III auction now! It is live and able to be bid on. They can also now access the $1 NFT for new hit record Black Superhero ft. RZA which comes with unique limited edition artwork.

After this release who are some other notable names we can expect from you?
We have a lot of drops coming up including over 120+ influencers, music artists, producers, visual artists, celebrities, and even a Rap Battle series of NFTs called MC W.A.R. with historic battle rappers such as VADO, Oun P, Charlie Clips, Saigon, E Ness, Big T and more! Stay updated by visiting VerseBooks.com.

Lastly, how can people contact you or get a NFT?
Anyone can contact us, create their own NFT or purchase any NFT on VerseBooks by simply visiting VerseBooks.com.

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