They’re making literally one album, one time and they’re selling it to one person. Wu-Tang Clan is already legendary, but this is huge. The Clan is crafting a modern treasure. The U.S. may not have royalty, but we do have Wu-Tang.
It’s really a beautiful thing that they’re doing. Wu-Tang Clan is reminding us all that music is art, not simply the mass-produced, factory stuff that we so often are forced to listen to. The album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, has been in the works for 5 years now and is made up of 31 totally unheard, unreleased tracks. When it is complete, that one album will be encased in a gorgeous, hand-crafted, silver and nickel box carved by Yahya, a Morrocan and British artist.
Wu-Tang will “show” the album through exhibitions in festivals and museums, allowing viewers to listen to the album in full for $30-$50 a pop. Of course, there will be high security to ensure that no one records any part of the album. This plan is a game changer for music. Never before has any artist gone to these lengths to ensure that an audience will receive a piece of music in such a way.
Of course, Wu-Tang Clan will also receive a hefty bag of pay check for this endeavor, as after the exhibitions, they will auction of the one-of-a-kind album to the highest bidder. Let’s all pray that whoever buys the album decides to share it with the rest of us peasants. While we wait for some kindly, wealthy person or organization to help us out, listen to Wu-Tang’s just-released single, “Keep Watch” from their other album Better Tomorrow. Better Tomorrow is totally separate from the Once Upon A Time In Shaolin phenomenon and it will be commercially released this summer as Wu-Tang’s 20th anniversary album.