Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wu-Tang To Sell One Copy Of New Album

In a surprising announcement revealed by RZA with Forbes magazine the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, along with releasing A Better Tomorrow this summer, aims to transcend the musical genre as a whole and its acceptance in many major art forms. Titled Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, this second album will not be released. Instead, much like a work of art, it will travel through museums, galleries, and venues where customers can view the album, listen to it, and appreciate it while it remains enclosed in an engraved silver and nickel box created by Yahya, the British-Moroccan artist. According to RZA it has been kept under wraps, held secret, for years. For a price any potential listener can sit down with the album enclosed in its packaging, using headphones provided by the company to avoid any potential leak out into the public. It's a risky move, and one bold enough that the 31 tracks, 128 minutes that encompass it may be lost to most of the world who won't have a chance to hear it. 

While there's no denying the uniqueness of the strategy, whether it works or not is a whole different story. RZA and producer Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh have both agreed that the entire endeavor could be a bust, resulting in not much interest outside of diehard fans who go out of their way to hear it. On the other side of the spectrum however, it could create a mystery, a buzz surrounding it, especially if the album, which has been kept under wraps for years, turns out to be a stunner. That could lead to word of mouth as hype begins to grow to experience the album just once. That being another interesting factor. The lore of Once Upon A Time in Shaolin could be misconstrued as a one-time listen that could alter thoughts and beliefs. In fact, many things Wu-Tang is attempting with this are acts defying typical protocol when it comes to musical accommodations. Just like how a movie is meant to be seen twice; the first being the unfolding of the story, the second to appreciate the subtle nuisances that lead to its reveal, music is meant to unfold in the same way.

Regardless of its outcome, its preparation is one to witness. Another interesting factor is that, since only one copy will be made, RZA has stated that they plan to sell that sole album for a number potentially "in the millions." The fate of said album would rest in the palms of the one who purchases it. A bold move to say the least.

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