Update: Some thought it was a crazy idea. Others called the Wu Tang’s move to make just one copy of their upcoming CD and sell it to the highest bidder a brilliant marketing move. The latter turned out to be true. According to the Wu’s The RZA the bids are up to $5 million for 31-track The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
“Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday,” he told Billboard, during a break from promotion work on Brick Mansions, his upcoming film with the late Paul Walker, and Gang Related, his new Fox show. “I’ve been getting a lot of emails: some from people I know, some from people I don’t know, and they’re also emailing other members of my organization.
Some fans, however, are upset since the album will never be released publicly. How do you feel?
Published orginally on March 31, 2014
The Wu-Tang Clan have always been music innovators. Now the hip-hop group might just change the way artists market CDs. The Staten Island, NY group has come up with a unique way to sell their new album.
Wu Tang Clan has a 20th anniversary album set to be released in July called A Better Tomorrow. But another upcoming new record, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin done with Morocco-based producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, isn’t going to get released at all.
“Instead of releasing Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, they’re going to make exactly one copy of the double album. It will be locked inside an engraved nickel and silver box created by British-Moroccan artist Yahya,” reports Death and Taxes magazine. The album with actually going on its own tour to museums, galleries and possibly music festivals where visitors will pay to listen to it on headphones.
The double album has been a secret over the last two years, notes The Verge. After the tour, the group is looking to sell the single copy for millions of dollars.
“We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music,” says Wu-Tang Clan member Robert “RZA” Diggs told The Verge. “We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”
He added, “The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for year. And yet it doesn’t receive the same treatment as art in the sense of the value of what it is, especially nowadays when it’s been devalued and diminished to almost the point that it has to be given away for free.”
Since record sales have been dwindling over the years, this might just be a brilliant marketing move as well.