Words by Vince Lee
Last year, rapper RZA made headlines announcing that The Wu-Tang Clan will produce and sell only one copy of their upcoming double album, The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Positioning the album as a piece of art and collectors item akin to having the sceptre of an Egyptian king, offers of up to $5 million were reportedly circulating. Kickstarter campaigns were initiated by dedicated fans to raise funds for the purchase, and at one point Skrillex was even (falsely) rumoured to have acquired the elusive album. Other rumours included that it had been purchased as though an art piece, set to travel the world from gallery to gallery, as an exhibition.
In the latest development, RZA recently contacted Forbes to announce that Once Upon A Time In Shaolin will be sold online and that Paddle8 will be the official auction house. Little information has been given in regards to the sales process and price tag although the transaction will be conducted as a private sale rather than an auction, as is the norm with big auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
A website is set to launch later this month providing fans and interested customers with more information, including interviews, essays and a peek at the tracklisting. This is all very exciting, sure. But considering how the moderate to low reception of their recent album A Better Tomorrow, we must ask; is it worth even a fraction of the money? Or is it simply the exclusivity that we’re paying for?
Here’s RZA talking about the project, as well as some new electronics and speakers he’s been developing, with Forbes: