With a “B” chain around his neck and a flashy white coat, alumnus Arya Bahmanyar launched his rap career six months ago.
When Bahmanyar is performing under his stage name CoinDaddy, he preaches about his passion for Bitcoin – unlike typical rappers.
Bahmanyar, who graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in international business, raps about cryptocurrency in hopes of garnering mainstream interest in the market. Since stepping onto the scene as a joke between friends, CoinDaddy has released more than 40 songs on YouTube. His first release, a meditation tape titled “Affirmations for a Better Trade VOL 1,” was put out after a tough trading day.
“I was doing a trade and it was just a bad trade. It just went sideways,” he said. “That night, I downloaded software off the internet to make music, and I just made a meditation tape for my friends.”
Bahmanyar makes music from home using free tracks he finds online. His lyrics are full of double entendres, and rapping about sex and alcohol through the frame of Bitcoin. He also raps over instrumentals of popular songs to parody them like Eminem’s “Stan” on the song “Charlie,” in which CoinDaddy accuses himself of plagiarism and drops insider references about the currency.
Many of the songs contain dense verses about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency that may only be understandable to experts, but an irresistible refrain can carry you through the songs.
“I don’t know if anybody would really understand them unless you’re really into crypto, as that’s who the target audience was when I first made it,” he said.
Percussion rattles on the song “Alt Season (Where The Money At?),” an East Coast-style rap that delves into his showboating “pimp” persona with lyrics like, “I’m lightning fast and crypto rich, so hot I start to burn.”
“Tales from The Blockchain” features a woozy bass drone with trap beats and has lyrics about the luxuries of excess money. In a parody boasting tone, CoinDaddy raps, “I play this game like a sport, sick gains then off to resorts.”
Bahmanyar said he became “obsessed” with cryptocurrency in 2013, after investing his savings in Bitcoin as prices dropped as low as $72 per coin. Today, each coin is worth several thousand dollars.
“I went all in. Everything,” he said. “I just thought, what’s the worst case scenario? I’m already poor. I can’t get poorer. I just played it cool, and I just kept going, and I was rewarded.”
As the only Bitcoin rapper, Bahmanyar said he likes to maintain a sense of humor in his work to attract mainstream audiences and plans to make his music more accessible.
“I’m thinking now of branching more toward making songs anybody can be a participant in, something anybody can understand, crypto or not,” he said.
Bahmanyar said after three months of releasing videos online, the amateur rapper found his big break. He said stories about him began circulating online and the internet became part of his inside joke. He said he was surprised as pictures of himself were sprawled out on a computer desk, with shimmery flare pants and a white fur coat lined in leopard print.
“I see my photo, and it’s me dressed in a pimp costume leaned against a computer and I’m like, ‘Oh, my god. No. I was doing this as a joke!’” he said. “It was such a goof, like a big human meme or something.”
But CoinDaddy isn’t Bahmanyar’s only claim to cryptocurrency fame. When he’s not onstage at private performances, Bahmanyar is seen speaking at conferences about the advantages of the currency and explaining the system at seminars across the country.
Even if his parody rap career isn’t sustained, Bahmanyar said he will continue advocating for the currency and hopes to introduce more people to the option as he continues speaking at conferences.
“My heart and my pulse is crypto. Day in, day out,” Bahmanyar said. “This is all that I do. This is all that I am.”