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Over the last few years, Wu-Tang Clan has been working on a secret project: a double-album, The Wu – Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, that has been recorded in secret over the last few years. Enclosed within a container that has been handcrafted over three months by British-Morrocacan artist Yahya lies the sole and only copy of this secret album, and the clan has today revealed that they plan to make it available to the public – the only catch is the price.
“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.” – RZA
Set to be tagged with a multimillion-dollar price, the project is aimed to push the consideration of music as an art form, and therefore hold it in the same regard as visual artistry.
“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
The project’s creation dates back to 1997, when the clan linked up with the then-18-year-old Tarik “Civalringz” Azzougarh, and is said by the producer to encompass the same vintage Wu-Tang sound that first grasped his attention, while also making a statement in itself.
“It took a long time … It might totally flop … After five years, I’m sitting here and I’m like, ‘Am I really going to release this record and see it die after a week? …and we might be completely ridiculed. But the essence and core of our ideas is to inspire creation and originality and debate, and save the music album from dying.” – Civalringz
Before purchasing the album, interested parties can attend a high-profile exhibit that leads them through a Once Upon A Time in Shaolin “tour,” which will have a (much smaller) attendance fee. Once this “tour” excursion has been completed, the album will become available for purchase, and it is already been labelled with a price “in the millions” by RZA, due to the timeless nature of the one-of-a-kind product.
“There will be a time when we can’t tour, and that’s just the natural evolution of man … And yet this particular privatized album, I think—this idea we have—will be something that will go longer than all of us” – RZA
This particular album may be one-of-a-kind, but luckily Wu-Tang’s 20th Anniversary A Better Tomorrow will receive a wider release. Head here to read their thoughts on the upcoming project and share your own thoughts below.