US hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan have announced they have recorded an album but only one copy will be released.
“The Wu – Once Upon A Time in Shaolin” is a project that took six years to produce and the double album comprises of 31 tracks. The entire clan features on the album with the exception of co-founder O’DB (Russell Jones) who died of a drug overdose 10 years ago.
The double album will be packaged in a a hand-carved nickel-silver box designed by the British Moroccan artist Yahya.
It will be toured through museums and galleries where it will cost up to $50 to experience. Every time the album is displayed, excessive security will be imposed to ensure the album is not copied and leaked, which defeats the whole purpose of the release.
Following this, the only copy will be sold off to the highest bidder, in what fans presume to be upwards of a seven figure sum.
Don’t be fooled though, this isn’t a marketing ploy similar to the likes of Beyonce, Miley Cyrus or any other popstars over previous months.
One of the founding members RZA recently spoke to Forbes Magazine about the album concept.
“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 sceptre of an Egyptian king.”
The iconic hip-hop collective’s vision is to use the album as a springboard for music to once again be considered as art and create a shift in the music business.
Wu-Tang released a statement on scluzay.com, a website spawned for the project, sending out a passionate plea that would resonate with musicians and artists alike.
“The music industry is in crisis. Creativity has become disposable and value has been stripped out.
“Mass production and content saturation have devalued both our experience of music and our ability to establish its value.
“Industrial production and digital reproduction have failed. The intrinsic value of music has been reduced to zero [whereas] contemporary art is worth millions by virtue of its exclusivity. This album is a piece of contemporary art. The debate starts here.”
No dates have been announced yet, but the group synonymous with mid 90’s hip-hop will separately release a 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow which will be up for standard commercial release mid year. – Luke Mahoney
Image from NRK P3’s Flickr photostream.