Wu-Tang Clan wants nothing less than to reboot the way our culture appreciates music. And it hopes to make a pretty penny along the way.
The rap group will sell only one copy of its upcoming double album, The Wu–Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The price? In the millions, the band says.
We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” says Robert “RZA” Diggs, the first Wu-Tang member to speak on record about Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, in an exclusive interview with FORBES. “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 scepter of an Egyptian king.”
Wu-Tang’s aim is to use the album as a springboard for the reconsideration of music as art, hoping the approach will help restore it to a place alongside great visual works-and create a shift in the music business, not to mention earn some cash, in the process.
The band plans to take the album on a museum-style exhibit tour where visitors will have to pass through security measures to make sure no one steals snippets of the content.
“One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept,” says Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, a producer on the album.