Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wu-Tang to Release Only One Copy Of Its Secret Album "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin"

Leave it to the Wu to innovate once again. They've been recording their latest double-album, entitled "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin," in secret over the past few years. It will be housed in an incredibly ornate, engraved silver-and-nickel box handcrafted during a span of 3 months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. It's currently sitting somewhere in an undisclosed location in Marrakech, Morocco like some sort of Hip Hop Holy Grail. It is a one of a kind collector's item aimed to elevate music back to its former state as an art form, and to be sold to a single bidder in a multimillion-dollar deal. PURE. FUCKING. GENIUS.  According to defacto Wu-Tang leader RZA in an interview with Forbes:

We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before...We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music. We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king...

...The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for years, and yet its doesn’t receive the same treatment as art in the sense of the value of what it is, especially nowadays when it’s been devalued and diminished to almost the point that it has to be given away for free.

RZA and the album’s main producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh (a Morocco-based part of Wu-Tang’s extended family) says the plan is to take the album on a 'tour' through museums, galleries, festivals etc. and likely charge around $30-$50 to view it, just like a high-profile exhibit at a major institution would be. Visitors will then likely have to listen to the 128-minute album’s 31 songs on headphones provided by the venue. Once the tour is completed the album will be made available for purchase for a price “in the millions” to companies like Samsung, (who spent $5 million for Jay Z’s latest album to be included on their phones) major record labels hoping to launch the album traditionally, or even a single, wealthy private citizen. Just like a work of art made by Monet, Basquiat or an extremely rare collectible baseball card or comic book. Even if no one pays to view the album they still stand to make their money's worth with the sale alone.

It is a move that only the Wu-Tang Clan could pull off. It goes along with the aesthetic and movement they've cultivated for years, makes a statement about the current status of music, creates a one of a kind veritable treasure, and makes them the money they deserve for an album that they would never make if it were sold traditionally. Let's see if it actually pays off and if this album will ever be 'leaked' to the public.

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