Coming soon to a digital auction house near you.
The Wu-Tang Clan have revealed the auction page for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, their one-of-a-kind album-cum-art piece. The page on Paddle8 includes music, artwork, essays by RZA, Chris Norris and a conversation betwen RZA and Cilvaringz, and more.
“When I think of who will come to own Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, I want them to recognize the historical value of what they’re collecting,” says RZA. “I’m not one for hoping as a rule, but I really hope its guardian is the kind of person who finds appreciation and value in every artistic expression. Because this work was made to be appreciated.”
To prevent the commercial proliferation of the album after the sale, RZA and company have secured an 88 year copyright, landing at that particular length of time through a typically RZAian bit of numerology and mathematical symbolism.
RZA also admits that “a scenario where a philanthropist buys the album and releases it for free” is a “possibility,” noting that it would be unlikely due to the large investment required to secure the album. In addition, the team has decided to let the buyer decide how to publicly exhibit the album, if they so wish.
And confirming what many have speculated, considering the mammoth undertaking and the tepid response to last year’s A Better Tomorrow, RZA admits that “it feels almost certain that Once Upon A Time In Shaolin will be the final Wu-Tang Clan album.”
Update: An interesting tidbit – when Cilvaringz brought the album from Morocco to New York, it was held for more than three hours by airport security at JFK, after they couldn’t confirm the contents. The reason? They’d misplaced the key.
Luckily, after using the airport’s “rarely used highest-strength scanner”, they were able to confirm its contents [via New York Post].