Wu-Tang Clan make a big announcement today, they've worked in top secret over the past few years on a new album "The Wu– Once Upon A Time In Shaolin", of which they will release a single copy, to be sold for millions.
Wu-Tang Clan have been working on a new album for some time now, we first found out about the reunion album a year ago, when the title was announced as A Better Tomorrow. Since then plenty more rumors have developed, including some conflicts about Raekwon not hitting the studio to lay down his verses.
It appears as though during the time they were working on and discussing the reunion album, they were also working in top secret on another record, confirmed to be titled, The Wu– Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Details on this album have surfaced today, and Wu-Tang are running with that #newrules hashtag, and will create just one copy of this album.
The Clan have been recording this album in top secret over the past few years. In the course of the past three months, a British-Moroccan artist by the name of Yahya (whose work is often commissioned by royal families and the elite of this world) has made a hand-crafted container to hold the double disc LP.
The legendary New York group are treating The Wu– Once Upon A Time In Shaolin as any other valuable piece of art-- they are making solely one copy, and will sell that one copy for multimillions of dollars (the exact price tag has yet to be specified).
RZA spoke to Forbes about the ambitious endeavor, "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."
While you may not be able to afford this collector's piece, rest assured that A Better Tomorrow will be your standard commercial release, available to the masses.
As RZA tells Forbes, The Wu– Once Upon A Time In Shaolin was produced for the most part by Moroccan native Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh. As it turns out, Cilvaringz was once just a fan of the Wu, and during a fateful concert night in 1997 he met RZA and somehow stayed in touch as the producer honed his craft. Obviously their relationship developed to the point that the entire crew was down to work with him.
Wu-Tang Clan plan on taking this secret album on not-your-average-tour: it'll visit museums, galleries and festivals across the country, and like any art exhibition, there will be a cost to attend, likely between $30-$50. Once the visitors go through heavy security to make sure no recording devices are smuggled in, they'll be able to listen to the 128-minute album through headphones provided by the venue, as an extra precaution. As the producer says, "One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept."
The album will only become for sale (in the millions) once the tour runs it course. It may be a private citizen or a large company that will purchase it, either option is open.
RZA says, "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."
What are your thoughts on this creative initiative? Are you with it?