Multi-million dollar recording housed in handcrafted silver-and-nickel box.
The Wu-Tang Clan wants to remind people that music is art, which is why they will only be releasing one copy of their new album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, encased in a handcrafted silver-and-nickel box. Before it goes on sale, the multi-million dollar album will also go on tour through museums, galleries, and other art events.
Long-time group member, RZA, made it clear in an interview with Forbes that they want to do something unprecedented. “We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.” The hope is that the album will reach the same status as famous artwork from names such as Picasso and Da Vinci.
Another Wu-Tang memeber, Cilvaringz, has been in charge of the creation and marketing of the album for the past few years, and originally got the idea when Jay-Z was paid $5 million by Samsung to “leak” his album, Magna Carta. Security is now a key concern for the group, especially when the album goes on tour. “One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept,” explains Cilvaringz.
Eventually, the album will go on sale, and could end up in the hands of a brand looking for a unique marketing campaign, or a private citizen who wants to release the album to the public. Apart from being an extremely original idea, the album will also prove an interesting social experiment to see how far people will go to listen to something kept this tight under wraps. Whether or not the Wu-Tang Clan can keep the album safe for the duration of the tour will be an interesting case study for the future of the music business.