Sole Copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s New Album Sells for Millions

A black and white drawing of a gavel.

Image: Shutterstock

This one’s fun.

The only copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin…, was sold through online auctioneer Paddle8 for an “undisclosed figure in the millions.” An unnamed American buyer now owns the lonely album. Since the album was announced two years ago, it has been relaxing quietly “in a vault at the luxurious Royal Mansour hotel in Marrakech, Morroco.”

It could still be a while before anyone hears what’s on the 128-minute album. Language in the contract for its sale demands that the music—or whatever exists on the album—cannot be released to the public commercially for almost an entire century—88 years. Wu-Tang Clan has spent the last six months vetting potential buyers for the album.

“From the beginning, we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity,” said RZA, one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan. “Both of those goals have been achieved, and the ideas continue to evolve.” Much of the profit from the album’s sale will be donated to charity, notable to The Truth About Cancer.

Wu-Tang member Tarik Azzougarh, known creatively as Cilvarings, has suggested that the group may permit a buyer to take the album on a kind of tour around different exhibits museums, and art galleries around the world, but there is no word yet on whether that kind of adventure is going to be a reality.

“We felt that retail commercialization and mass replication would dilute the status of the album as a one-off work of art and compromise the integrity of our sentiment,” RZA said.

Backups of the album have already been destroyed.

But the new owner of the album will also receive deluxe liner notes in a 174-page book, wrapped in leather by a master bookbinder, and the final track listing will only be revealed to the buyer. Cool!


About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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