Wu-Tang Clan spent nine years making a super secret 31-track album, entitled “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin”, for which only a single copy would be pressed and sold.
A few months ago, a “private American collector” bought the album for untold millions of dollars. Wu-Tang threw in some free $55,000 speakers, too.
“The Wu-Tang Clan have always been driven by innovation, and this marks another moment in musical history,” said Wu-Tang cofounder RZA, adding that the group would donate a significant portion of the proceeds to charity. “From the beginning, we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity. Both of those goals have been achieved, and the ideas continue to evolve.”
According to the legal documents involved in the sale, the material is prohibited from public release for a period of 88 years.
So why 88 years? An obscure Dueling Pianos reference??
The time frame is, naturally, derived from Wu-Tang’s love of numbers. There were eight original members of the group, for instance, and the auctioneer, Paddle8, has the number in its name. Eight turned sideways is also the infinity symbol.
“For us it also addresses the issue of music’s longevity in a time of mass production and short attention spans,” RZA said on the site. “Nothing about this record revolves around short-term gains, but rather around the legacy of the music and the statement we’re making.”
Take that, Napster.