Wu-Tang Clan to press single copy of new album, tour it in museums then sell it for 'millions'
'The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin' is a 31-track double album presented in an engraved silver-plated case
The album will be sold in an engraved silver-and-nickel box created by British-Moroccan artist Yahya and bearing the group's W insignia. It is expected to come with a multi-million dollar price tag, reports Forbes.
"We're about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before," said RZA. "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 sceptre of an Egyptian king."
The band also plan to take the album on a "tour" of museums, galleries and festivals, where they will charge between $30-$50 (£18 to £30) to view and listen to the album. The listening sessions will take place behind heavy security and will use headphones provided by the venue, to prevent the album leaking.
The album's main producer, Tarik 'Cilvaringz' Azzougarh, says the Wu-Tang have discussed London's Tate Modern as a possible venue for the exhibition. The group first met Morocco-based Cilvaringz at a show in Amsterdam in 1997, and he has been an affiliate of the collective ever since.
Once the 31-track, 128-minute album has done the rounds, it will be available to purchase for a price "in the millions" of dollars. It is speculated that a label could buy the album and release it through the usual channels.
"The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for years," RZA said. "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."
“I know it sounds crazy,” Cilvaringz said. "It might totally flop, and we might be completely ridiculed. But the essence and core of our ideas is to inspire creation and originality and debate, and save the music album from dying."
The long-promised 20th anniversary album, 'A Better Tomorrow', is still set for a standard commercial release this summer.