Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett debuted their cartoon-band creation Gorillaz with a self-titled album in 2001. Gorillaz went triple-platinum in the U.K., and the virtual act have since continued to have a prolific career full of hits and collaborations with artists both legendary and on the rise. NME reports that Gorillaz will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of their self-titled with album re-releases, new merch and, most notably, a collection of NFT art in collaboration with the brand Superplastic.
Fans of the band on Twitter were quick to point out the irony of Gorillaz jumping on the non-fungible token train. In the past, the band have been outspoken about environmental issues, particularly on their 2010 album Plastic Beach. After creating a record thematically centered around the dangers of overconsumption and waste, it seems backwards for the band to then throw their name behind a practice that has been noted as being incredibly harmful to the environment due to NFTs requiring a massive amount of energy to sustain.
The announcement quickly made Gorillaz trend on Twitter, with fans airing their grievances about the hypocrisy of the move:
While there’s plenty to celebrate about two decades of Gorillaz, doing so with crypto art seems like a pretty big misstep. You can commemorate the occasion by revisiting the band’s high points instead with our ranking of The 10 Best Gorillaz Songs.