UPDATE: RZA revealed bids for the sole existing copy of Wu-Tang Clan's new album have already reached $5 million. "Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday," he told Billboard. "I don't know how to measure it, but it gives us an idea that what we're doing is being understood by some."
Original Post (3/26): While the fate of Wu-Tang Clan's 20th anniversary album A Better Tomorrow hangs in limbo, RZA just revealed the hip hop collective recorded an entirely different double-album that's ready to meet the world.
That is, if the world is willing to pay.
Over the last few years, Wu-Tang Clan secretly recorded 31 songs for the 128-minute album Once Upon a Time In Shaolin. Wu-Tang mad genius RZA recently revealed the album's existence to Forbes and his diabolical plan to release only one copy of it. Ever.
“We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” RZA told Forbes. "We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of music. We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”
Befitting its one-of-a-kind status, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin won't come in a jewel case or cardboard sleeve. The album will be housed in an engraved box (pictured above) that was handcrafted at the foot of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
Given its mythic backstory and the fact that it could go for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, we're voting Quentin Tarantino as the person most-likely to purchase this hip hop Holy Grail.
As for those of us accustomed to paying approximately a dollar per song, there's a much cheaper option for at least hearing Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The musical tome will tour museums and galleries across the country as a piece of priceless art, with venues charging $30-50 for admission and permitting each ticket holder one listen to the two-hour LP.
"One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept," said producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougar, who oversaw most of this new album. So expect TSA-style security checks at any venue housing Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to prevent pirates from leaking the album.
As for what happens when the sole physical copy of the album sells, well, that's anybody's guess what's next. Will the buyer hide it away forever, generously share it with the world or just use it as a hipster bragging point for the rest of their life?