The sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ will be auctioned online after being reportedly stored in a vault in Morocco last year.
Rapper RZA revealed details of the sale of the secret album to Forbes magazine, stating “We will announce Paddle8 as [the] official auction house”. Further information will be revealed by a micro-site later this month, alongside interviews with RZA himself, Wu-Tang related essays and a tracklist.
Online auction house Paddle8’s head of communications, Sarah Goutlet, said the transaction will be treated as a private sale instead of an auction, with a price upon request. The site will filter offers before Wu-Tang decide on the most appropriate one. “That’s something that auction houses – Christie’s, Sotheby’s, all the way down to Paddle8 – do quite frequently,” Goutlet said. “It’s price upon request.”
Goulet also indicated that the album is expected to fetch a large amount of money on the open market. “This is being positioned by both by the Wu-Tang Clan and by Paddle8 as a work of art. It’s truly treating this album, which very well may be the last album that the Wu-Tang Clan makes together, as a one-of-a kind, special property that is worth the price,” she said.
RZA previously divulged that the group had already received an offer of $5 million (£3 million) for ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’. The 128-minute long double-album, made up of 31-songs, was mainly produced by Wu-Tang collaborator Tarik “Cilvaringz’ Azzougarh. Azzougarh said in interviews that the intention behind its unorthodox release was to “bring music back to the status of high art”.
Meanwhile, Wu-Tang Clan released their new album ‘A Better Tomorrow’ in December. Speaking to NME about the release, RZA addressed rumours of infighting within the band, including reports of a total breakdown of communications between him and his band mate Raekwon. “There was a lot of opposition within the Wu-Tang circle to doing the album… I’ll level with you, the chemistry’s not all that good right now,” he said. “We’ve all done this long enough to know this process isn’t just like, you make an album, then that’s that. It’s like a presidential campaign. You don’t just make the policies then sit back. You create your platform, then you gotta take it to out to the people.”