Most hip-hop artists strive to sell millions of records but legendary Wu-Tang Clan rapper and producer Rza wants to sell exactly one. In an interview with Forbes, Rza explains why he and the Wu have decided to release only one physical copy of their upcoming double album that will be called “The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.”
“We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” Rza tells 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.”
As for the album itself, it will come in a silver-and-nickel box that Forbes says “was handcrafted over the course of three months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya, whose works have been commissioned by royal families and business leaders around the world.” The Wu plan to sell the album for “millions” of dollars and they’re betting either a publicity-seeking brand or a wealthy super-fan will happily pony up to get it. The person who buys the album will also apparently have control over whether digital versions of its contents get released to the public or if, like the Beach Boys’ Smile or Guns’N’Roses’ Chinese Democracy, they get locked away for years in a vault.
While it’s true that producing only one copy of the album will give it more value than if it were mass produced, it probably won’t rise to the status of an Egyptian pharaoh scepter unless the music is very good. Happily, Rza and the Wu have been producing consistently quality records for the past 20 years, although they’ve never managed to match the brilliance they displayed in their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers.