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Thread: Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

  1. #1
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    Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

    Interesting marketing. We'll see if it works.

    3/26/2014 @ 12:00PM
    Why Wu-Tang Will Release Just One Copy Of Its Secret Album
    Once Upon A Time In Shaolin: Wu Tang will sell just one copy of the top-secret album.



    Somewhere on the outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco, inside a vault housed beneath the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, there sits an engraved silver-and-nickel box with the potential to spawn a shift in the way music is consumed and monetized.

    The lustrous container 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. Soon, it will contain a different sort of art piece: the Wu-Tang Clan’s double-album The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, recorded in secret over the past few years.

    Like the work of a master Impressionist, it will truly be one-of-a-kind—in lieu of a traditional major label or independent launch, the iconic hip-hop collective will make and sell just one copy of the album. And similar to a Monet or a Degas, the price tag will be a multimillion-dollar figure.

    “We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” says Robert “RZA” Diggs, the first Wu-Tang member to speak on record about Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, in an exclusive interview with FORBES. “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 scepter of an Egyptian king.”

    Wu-Tang’s aim is to use the album as a springboard for the reconsideration of music as art, hoping the approach will help restore it to a place alongside great visual works–and create a shift in the music business, not to mention earn some cash, in the process. The one-of-a-kind launch will be a separate endeavor from the group’s 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, which is set for a standard commercial release this summer.

    According to RZA and the album’s main producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, a Morocco-based part of Wu-Tang’s extended family, the plan is to first take Once Upon A Time In Shaolin on a “tour” through museums, galleries, festivals and the like. Just like a high-profile exhibit at a major institution, there will be a cost to attend, likely in the $30-$50 range.

    Visitors will go through heavy security to ensure that recording devices aren’t smuggled in; as an extra precaution, they’ll likely have to listen to the 128-minute album’s 31 songs on headphones provided by the venue. As Cilvaringz puts it: “One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept.”

    Though no exhibition dates have been finalized, Cilvaringz says Wu-Tang has been in discussions with a bevy of possible locations, including the Tate Modern (a representative from the institution did not respond to a request for comment). Other venues, including art galleries and listening tents at music festivals, could eventually round out the tour.

    Once the album completes its excursion, Wu-Tang will make it available for purchase for a price “in the millions.” Suitors could include brands willing to shell out for cool points and free publicity (just as Samsung spent $5 million to buy copies of Jay Z’s latest album for its users) or major record labels hoping to launch the album through the usual channels (they’re used to paying top acts seven-figure advances).

    There’s also the possibility that a wealthy private citizen could buy it and either keep the album or release it to the public for free in the name of democratizing a cultural artifact. That’s essentially what clothing mogul Mark Ecko did by purchasing Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball for $752,467 and conducting a plebiscite to determine if he should blast it into outer space, send it to the Hall of Fame unblemished, or brand it with an asterisk (he eventually did the latter and sent it to Cooperstown).

    “The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for years,” says RZA. “And yet its 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.”

    Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’s origins date back to 1997, while Wu-Tang was on tour in Europe. At one show in Amsterdam, the group allowed a few of the fans to hop up on the stage—and one of them happened to be Cilvaringz, then an 18-year-old just beginning to study entertainment law and music management.

    “I recognized his energy,” says RZA. “There was something about him different from the rest of the audience.”

    Cilvaringz kept in touch with the producer and even took the step of traveling to New York with friends to try and arrange a meeting, only to find that RZA was too busy to sit down with him. But when the Wu-Tang star’s mother met Cilvaringz hanging around the office, she was so impressed by his demeanor that she contacted her son and urged him to make time.

    RZA did exactly that, and found himself even more knocked out by the up-and-comer than he’d been in Amsterdam, urging him to go back to school and continue learning about the music business. He soon became a mentor to Cilvaringz, showing him the ropes of production and the industry itself.

    By the late 2000s, RZA and the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan were ready to start working on the project that would become Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Cilvaringz’s aim as producer was to create an album with a vintage Wu-Tang sound, the same one that drew him to the concert in Amsterdam a decade earlier.

    The group was no stranger to collaborations with international artists like IAM, the French hip-hop group that collaborated on the 1997 track “La Saga” with members of the Wu-Tang Clan. The song features two verses in English, two in French, and shoutouts to cities from Medina to Marseilles.

    So it wasn’t much of a stretch for Wu-Tang to work with Cilvaringz, who’d subsequently relocated to Marrakech, for Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. The pieces slowly fell into place, with the group’s original members agreeing to participate alongside few special guests. The lengthy leadup gave him plenty of time to think about how to ensure a lasting impact for the album.

    “It took a long time,” says Cilvaringz. “After five years, I’m sitting here and I’m like, ‘Am I really going to release this record and see it die after a week?’”

    That sentiment led him, along with RZA, to come up with the one-copy concept. After watching Jay Z debut his album in partnership with Samsung last summer—and buy 100 copies of Nipsey Hussle’s $100 mixtape—Cilvaringz and his Wu-Tang compatriots had something resembling proof of concept for Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.

    “I think it’s a musical portrait that’s going to revolutionize music in the future,” said Wu-Tang member Jamiel “Masta Killa” Arief, via electronic message. “And I’m thankful to my brother Ringz, to collaborate with, and I’m ecstatic to be a part of it.”

    Now, all that remains to be done is to transfer the digital files of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin to a physical disc, enclose it in the silver box, and nail down some dates for the exhibition. To be sure, there’s always a chance that this carefully conceived plan will combust before it sees the light of day, a possibility that Cilvaringz recognizes.

    “I know it sounds crazy,” he says. “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 plan almost resembles a Kickstarter campaign in search of a single, super-wealthy backer; there are also parallels with Jack Conte’s Patreon. But it more closely mirrors the centuries-old patron model, where aristocrats would commission painters or bankroll resident musicians to create works of art.

    Indeed, crowdfunding on the whole is the distant progeny of that system, as is the aforementioned activity of Samsung. Wu-Tang is betting that a full-circle return will yield industry-shaking—and pocket-fattening—results.

    Cilvaringz is even hoping the album will mark the beginning of a scaleable private music service. And as far as RZA is concerned, the move is an opportunity to attain a unique form of immortalization, not just through music, but through model.

    “There will be a time when we can’t tour, and that’s just the natural evolution of man,” he says. “And yet this particular privatized album, I think—this idea we have—will be something that will go longer than all of us.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    $5 million

    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang.
    Wu-Tang Clan Offered $5 Million for One-Of-a-Kind Album, Says RZA
    By Jem Aswad, New York | April 02, 2014 12:19 PM EDT


    WireImage/Getty Images (l)

    Wu-Tang Clan turned the concept of artist compensation on its ear last week with the announcement that they'll be manufacturing just one unique copy of their forthcoming LP, "The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," and then auctioning it off for a price they expect to reach into the millions.

    The group's RZA, who masterminded the project with producer/Wu-Tang extended family member Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh, told Billboard that their goal got closer to reality this week.

    "Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday," he said via phone from Los Angeles Tuesday, during a break from promotion work on "Brick Mansions," his forthcoming film with the late Paul Walker, and "Gang Related," his Fox show launching next month. "I've been getting a lot of emails: some from people I know, some from people I don't know, and they're also emailing other members of my organization.

    "So far, $5 million is the biggest number," he continued. "I don't know how to measure it, but it gives us an idea that what we're doing is being understood by some. And there are some good peers of mine also, who are very high-ranking in the film business and the music business, sending me a lot of good will. It's been real positive."

    The 31-track album, which was recorded in secret over the past few years and produced by Cilvaringz "under the tutelage" of the RZA, was announced a week ago today. It will be housed in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya.

    In a manifesto on the project's website, the goal is to make a statement about music as a work of art in the ongoing debate over creators' compensation in the context of the digital revolution. "The intrinsic value of music has been reduced to zero," it reads. "Contemporary art is worth millions by virtue of its exclusivity. This album is a piece of contemporary art."

    "The main theme is music being accepted and respected as art and being treated as such," RZA told Billboard. "If something is rare, it's rare. You cannot get another."

    While the site's claim that "This is the first high-profile album never to be commercially released to the public and the first of its kind in the history of music" is not entirely accurate — one-off releases from Radiohead and Jean-Michel Jarre, among others, have been created and sold — the project is unquestionably an interesting twist in the music industry's ongoing dilemma over artist compensation.

    See this week's Billboard for more from our interview with RZA, including his views on art, collecting, ownership, and the rights of the ultimate owner of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    Slightly OT

    Wu-Tang-Affiliated Rapper Cuts Off His Own *****, Jumps Off Balcony in Suicide Attempt
    4/16/2014 8:34 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
    EXCLUSIVE


    Wu Tang Rapper Cuts Off *****A rapper affiliated with Wu-Tang Clan was rushed to the hospital early Wednesday after he cut off his ***** and then jumped off a second story balcony in what police believe was a suicide attempt ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

    Our sources say ... cops were called to an apartment building in North Hollywood at around 1:00 AM and found Christ Bearer -- aka Andre Johnson -- on the sidewalk critically injured.

    Christ Bearer is a member of the rap group Northstar ... a group discovered by members of Wu-Tang Clan. Two members of a group Bearer collaborates with live in the same apartment building and tell TMZ they were there early this morning when Christ Bearer suddenly -- without warning -- cut off his ***** and jumped off the balcony. They say they were not on "any hard drugs that would cause him to do such a thing."

    The two men say they rushed downstairs and Christ Bearer had already jumped up and began screaming incoherently.

    041614_northstar_bearer_launch_v2
    Johnson was rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. It's unclear if doctor's are attempting to reattach Johnson's *****.

    Johnson is a rapper who was in a group founded by members of Wu-Tang Clan.
    Honestly now...how many "hard drugs that would cause him to do such a thing" are there?
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    Cher

    I did NOT see that one coming...

    Cher, Wu-Tang Clan Collaborate for Two Songs on Secret Album
    'The Wu - Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' features unlikely vocals from iconic singer


    Cher, RZA of Wu-Tang Clan.
    Neilson Barnard/Getty Images; Mark Horton/WireImage
    By Jason Newman
    May 7, 2014 8:55 AM ET

    Cher has contributed vocals to two songs on Wu-Tang Clan's upcoming "secret album" The Wu - Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

    A representative for Cher declined to make the singer available for comment, but confirmed the collaboration to Rolling Stone. "She recorded her parts separately, so I don't believe there was direct interaction," said the rep.

    In a video posted by Forbes on Tuesday, writer Zack O'Malley Greenberg traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco to "become the first civilian" to hear the album, of which the group is only pressing one copy and selling to the highest bidder. Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh, the album's producer, played one song on-camera featuring Ghostface Killah rhyming over pounding drums, dusty organ and a repeated female wail. At the end of the track, Cher improbably sings, "Wu-Tang, baby. They rock the world."

    Cher's appearance had been hiding in plain sight since at least March, when the album's website noted that it "includes special guest appearances by Bonnie Jo Mason." In 1964, Cher released "Ringo, I Love You," her first solo single without Sonny Bono and a tribute to Ringo Starr, under the pseudonym of the same name.



    In the video, Azzougarh says production of the album, which was six years in the making, was done in Marrakesh "in a very unconventional way." After Azzougarh produced the tracks and sent them to RZA for review, the pair came up with song titles before it was decided which rappers would appear on which tracks. When it was time for each Wu member to record his part, the rappers rhymed over similar-sounding beats, but not the original, to avoid any leaks. According to Azzougarh, no one in the group, including RZA, was given final copies of the album.

    The video also shows the album's container, which was handcrafted over three months by 10 artists led by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. Yahya shows off the case, an ornate container carved in nickel silver with the Wu-Tang W logo embossed in the middle of the case. "We treat it as an art piece, which it is," says Yahya. The album has allegedly been moved to a different secret location since the video was shot.

    "We're about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before," RZA told Forbes in March. "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 scepter of an Egyptian king."

    Before the album is sold to one wealthy fan — RZA claims he's been offered $5 million for the 31-track record — it will be toured across the world's museums, galleries and festivals, using headphones to protect the songs from piracy.

    The release of the secret album has been overshadowed of late by group infighting over Wu's other upcoming album A Better Tomorrow. Last month, Raekwon told Rolling Stone that he was "on strike" from the group, accusing RZA of "mediocre ****" when it came to new music and alleging that contracts still needed to be negotiated for him to appear. After saying that Wu-Tang Clan "needs him" on the next album, RZA gave the rapper a 30-day ultimatum to agree to terms. While it's unclear if Raekwon will appear on A Better Tomorrow, the rapper told Rolling Stone the odds were two out of 10.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
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    MK Ultra

    MK Ultra Mind Control. Sell your soul to the devil... for a price.

    Here is a link regarding the attempted assassination of Tila Tequila. "Blame it on the drugs."


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMGyE...yer_detailpage

  6. #6
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    drops today

    No, Skrillex Didn't Buy Wu-Tang's $5M 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' Album
    By Andrew Flanagan | December 01, 2014 4:16 PM EST


    Skrillex performs a DJ set by the pool on the roof of Red Bull Guest House, in Miami, FL, on 22 March 2013
    Robert Snow/Red Bull Content Pool

    One of the year's great mysteries -- who will buy the Wu-Tang Clan's one-of-a-kind record? -- remains unsolved.

    Skrillex can afford a lot of nice things -- he made $15 million two years ago, according to Forbes -- from a nice home studio to a communal, techno-artistic downtown Los Angeles warehouse. But just because he can spend a lot of money on nice things doesn't mean he actually has, even if those nice things recently appeared in the music video for his song "F--- That" (which you can watch below).

    Despite recent rumors, Billboard has confirmed with Skrillex's team that the dance music wunderkind did not purchase the Wu-Tang Clan's cold, silver art piece. While the Wu-Tang's one-of-a-kind album, which features Cher on two songs, has been in a sort of limbo since being announced early this year, RZA told Billboard in April that the offers were coming in.

    Too bad - a Wu-Tang Skrillex collab would be off the hook.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    Going....Going...

    Anyone hear A Better Tomorrow yet?
    Wu-Tang Taps Paddle8 Auction House To Sell Secret Album


    The Saga Continues: Wu-Tang will sell its secret album through upstart auction house Paddle8 (photo: Rashad Patterson).

    Nearly a year ago, the Wu-Tang Clan shocked the music world with an announcement too bizarre for fiction: the hip-hop collective had recorded a secret double album dubbed The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, and was planning to sell just one copy.

    The album’s producer, Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, invited me to hear a snippet of the lone LP in Marrakech last spring. He explained that Wu-Tang wanted to reverse the devaluation of music and help it regain the fine art status it enjoyed during the Renaissance; RZA later said the group received a $5 million offer for the record. Then Wu-Tang went silent and focused on releasing A Better Tomorrow.

    Today, it appears the group is ready to turn its attention back to Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, confirming for the first time the manner in which—and the unusual outlet by which—the album will eventually be sold.

    “We will announce Paddle8 as [the] official auction house,” said RZA in an electronic message to FORBES.

    Founded in 2011 by Harvard Business School grad Aditya Julka and LVMH veteran Alexander Gilkes, Paddle8 is backed by angel investors from Damien Hirst to the Mellon family. It has also received funding from respected firms including Founder Collective (Uber, Makerbot) and Mousse Partners (Warby Parker, Paperless Post).

    The company, which boasts a team of 75, conducts online-only auctions (and for charitable auctions can partner with non-profits to secure a floor for bids before a live event), typically with lower fees than the grand old auctioneers. The aforementioned Hirst, Julian Schnabel, Jeff Koons and other big name artists have sold their works through Paddle8.

    RZA, Cilvaringz, the rest of Wu-Tang and Paddle8 won’t reveal much else about the sale process for now, only that more information will be released through a micro-site later this month. The site will contain interviews with RZA, Wu-Tang-related essays and a sneak peek at Once Upon A Time In Shaolin‘s tracklist. And the transaction will be treated as a private sale, not an auction.

    “That’s something that auction houses–Christie’s, Sotheby’s, all the way down to Paddle8–do quite frequently,” says Paddle8′s Sarah Goulet. “It’s price upon request.”

    As such, Paddle8 will filter legitimate offers and Wu-Tang will try to settle on one that seems to be the best fit, a bit different from a traditional auction. Regardless of the format, it seemed clear from the outset that involving an auction house would be logical, given the need for an entity that could sort serious buyers from jokers.

    “Anyone can send an email saying, ‘I got $55 million,’” Cilvaringz told me in Morocco. “I got one like that before. But it’s like, ‘Yeah, right.’”

    Given that established auction houses like Sotheby’s seem to have been sniffing around the album, the choice of Paddle8 is perhaps just as outrageous and/or forward thinking as the one-album concept itself.

    What remains to be seen is when the sale will occur—and how much Once Upon A Time In Shaolin will fetch on the (relatively) open market.

    “This is being positioned both by the Wu-Tang Clan and by Paddle8 as a work of art,” says Goulet. “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.”

    Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Paddle8 has a team of over 50 people, and has been updated to reflect the latest headcount of 75; this version also includes language clarifying Paddle8′s involvement in live auctions.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #8
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    Online auction

    Anyone here going to bid?

    Wu-Tang Clan to Auction Single-Copy Album 'Shaolin' Online
    "This is being positioned both by the Wu-Tang Clan and by Paddle8 as a work of art," auction-house spokeswoman Sarah Goulet says


    Timothy Hiatt/Getty
    Wu-Tang Clan perform at Bumbershoot in August 2014. The hip-hop group's single-copy 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' album will be auctioned online.

    By Jon Blistein | January 8, 2015

    The only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan's album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, will be sold on the online auction site, Paddle8, Forbes reports. Wu-Tang honcho RZA said in a video interview for Forbes that while the auction date has not yet been announced, more details would be revealed during a press conference tentatively scheduled for January 28th.

    "They've had a lot of success over the last three years," RZA said of Paddle8. "And they also understand the concept of the new form of art, as well as the classic form of art — so people will find dinosaur bones to what Banksy is doing. This is modern art as well, and the new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, should be, and is, considered a piece of modern art."

    Accompanying the sale itself, Paddle8 will also help launch a "micro-site" later this month that will feature interviews with the RZA, essays about the Wu-Tang Clan and a peek at Once Upon a Time in Shaolin's tracklist.

    As Forbes also reports, the transaction will technically be treated as a private sale, and not an actual auction. According to Paddle8's Sarah Goulet, this is something auction houses do frequently: They'll separate the legitimate buyers from the pranksters, and the Wu-Tang Clan will ultimately decide which offered price is best.

    "This is being positioned both by the Wu-Tang Clan and by Paddle8 as a work of art," Goulet said. "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."

    After Wu-Tang Clan announced Once Upon a Time in Shaolin last spring, the RZA said he'd been offered $2 million and $5 million for the album. Made over six years, and produced by the RZA and Cilvaringz, the 31-track LP reportedly boasts appearances from Redman, FC Barcelona soccer players and even Cher. Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will also come in a one-of-a-kind, hand-carved, nickel-silver box designed by the British Moroccan artist Yahya.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    88 years

    Wu-Tang Clan Rules Buyer of 'Once Upon A Time in Shaolin' Must Wait 88 Years to Reproduce Album Commercially
    by Ryan Book, The Music Times Mar 2, 2015 10:27 AM EST


    The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a secret album by the Wu-Tang Clan (Photo : ezclziv scluzay)
    The Wu: Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, the newest album from the Wu-Tang Clan, has been one of the most engaging projects of the last few years. The hip-hop group is selling only one copy of the album, at an auction house, to the highest bidder. The original concept was that the winning bidder could do with it what he or she wished, whether that means keeping it to themselves or marketing it to the masses. The final product comes with a 174-page, leather-bound set of liner notes and comes housed in a silver and nickel plated storage box.
    Some details have changed however: Apparently the Wu decided to include some limits on what the owner may do with the record once they buy. For one, they won't be able to reproduce it for profit, or otherwise. At least for 88 years. The concept behind Shaolin is to return music to the vaunted status of high art that it once held, and mass production doesn't live up to that standard (from Forbes).
    "When you buy a painting or a sculpture, you're buying that piece rather than the right to replicate it," producer RZA said. "Owning a Picasso doesn't mean you can sell prints or reproductions but that you're the sole owner of a unique original. And that's what Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is. It's a unique original rather than a master copy of an album."
    The hip-hop collective didn't want to be too snobby however so they set an 88-year limit instead. Meaning that at some point during 2103, some correspondent at Music Times will finally be able to review The Wu: Once Upon A Time in Shaolin.
    Why the 88-year number? Symbolism and numerology of course. The digit eight represents the original number of members in the Clan, the sum of the numbers that make up the year 2015, it's featured in the name of the auction house selling the album (Paddle8), and of course it becomes the infinity symbol when displayed sideways (all of these are real reasons cited by the group).
    The new Wu-Tang Clan album is becoming an Indiana Jones film.
    Are they still going to play it as a museum art exhibit?
    Gene Ching
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    Whole thing seems like a bunch of goofy hype. I did buy their re-done version of "Ol Dirty Kung Fu".
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

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    goofy hype?

    You can describe almost every major happening in hip hop as "goofy hype", curenado.

    I think the bottom line with this is that when it's all said and done, will they have made more money than if they had just released this as a regular album? Even then, if they make a little less, they have still cashed in with the goofy hype.


    Wu-Tang Clan Debuts ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ Album in New York

    MAR 3RD, '15 • NEWS • by AICHA FORBES-DIABY



    Wu-Tang Clan debuted their secret album for fans last night (Mar. 2). Once Upon A Time In Shaolin has been hidden away in a vault in Marrakesh for the last six years. The Staten Island rap group is selling the highly anticipated project to a buyer for millions of dollars. Whoever purchases the album won’t be allowed to release it commercially, or without Wu-Tang’s permission, The Guardian reports. That’s not all Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will no longer be displayed on tour, a condition that was originally reported. The album’s producer Cilvaringz revealed yesterday that after 88 years, the album’s public and commercial rights transfer t0 the buyer of the album.

    At that time the buyer can decide whether or not they want to release the LP. The 31-track, double LP will be sold through art dealers Paddle8, and last night’s listening party was the first and only time fans could hear the exclusive project until 2103. The LP is 128 minutes long. Invitees were subjected to airport-style security checks and phones plus all electronic devices were confiscated. The room was dark and silver and jeweled case containing the album sat on on a podium under spotlight, with two bodyguards standing either side.

    According to Daily Mail, the secret album has been stored in a silver and wooden box, handcrafted by artists in Morocco. Attendees included prospective buyers, and a selected group of fans, who gathered in Queens for the secret premiere.

    Cher makes a cameo on the album, as well as Redman, Carice Van Houten and players from FC Barcelona’s soccer team. Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is reminiscent of the Clan’s early ’90s sound, with soul samples, clips of movie dialogues, and gritty rapping over sound effects of rain and thunder. The project is produced by RZA’s apprentice, Moroccan rapper and producer Tarik ‘Cilvaringz’ Azzougar, and all eight members of the crew hopped on board to record the tracks.

    The album was created in an attempt to break free of modern-day streaming companies like Spotify and YouTube, which encourage freely-shared music.

    “This has never been done before,’ said RZA after playing the record. “Music is just handed out now, the industry is in crisis. People feel like they deserve to have it for free. This is art. You can take a picture of the Mona Lisa but that’s not art. The same with this: you can never reproduce it – this is the final thing.”

    However, since the buyer cannot commercialize the album, it could be distributed for free. RZA hopes they don’t, adding, “This is unique and something only has value if it is rare.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #12
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    Manufactured artifacts aren't a new thing I guess.
    Old time artifacts were pretty though. Somebody find that in a thousand years would be glad they didn't find what made it.
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

  13. #13
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    Give the ****ing music out. Stop playing with the public, man.

    Method Man Thinks Waiting 88 Years to Release ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ is Stupid
    MAR 4TH, '15 • NEWS • by MIRANDA J.


    Getty Images

    Earlier this week, RZA revealed that Wu-Tang’s final album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, the one-of-a-kind LP that is currently being auctioned off for millions of dollars, will not be available to the public until 2103. That’s not a typo, that’s 88 years from now. Upon announcing, the public all had the common thought that nearly nine decades is quite a lengthy amount of time to wait to unveil the material. However, as Wu-Tang has always served up the unusual, fans didn’t really think twice. XXL hopped on the line with Method Man earlier today (Mar. 4) to talk about his new movie, The Cobbler, and according to the hip-hop icon, the idea to wait nearly a century to release the album is flat-out stupid.

    “What do you mean 88 years?” Meth initially responded when asked about the extensive waiting period, seemingly unaware of the recent headlines. After a brief explanation, Method Man didn’t hold back on what he really thought about the rollout of the LP. “**** that album,” responded Method Man. “I’m tired of this **** and I know everybody else is tired of it, too. **** that album, if that’s what they are doing. I haven’t heard anything like that, but if they’re doing crap like that, **** that album. Straight up. I’m just keeping it 100. When music can’t be music and y’all turning it into something else, **** that. Give it to the people, if they want to hear the ****, let them have it. Give it away free. I don’t give a ****; that ain’t making nobody rich or poor. Give the ****ing music out. Stop playing with the public, man.”

    He went on to reveal that he was a fan of the idea to sell a one-of-a-kind album for a hefty amount, but it’s the following announcement that has caused him disdain. “I dug the whole idea in the beginning. I’m like, ‘Wow, this has never been done before,’” he said. “I was cool with ****. But now, this is ridiculous. 88 years? Really? If that **** is true, that **** is stupid. You have to wait 88 years to hear some ****? By that time, it’s going to be ****in’ played out. If it ain’t already played out. I hope that’s a rumor. Whoever said that, that **** is ****in’ stupid.”

    Although things don’t appear to be so sweet with this release, fans can expect new music from Method Man soon. “I got some **** in the works,” the rapper revealed. “Methlab is coming. [I'm working with] a bunch of Staten Island artists because I’m trying to get my people recognized. Wu-Tang ain’t the only thing that can come out of Staten Island. There’s a lot of talent in Staten Island. It’s the Persona Non Grata that holds brothers back. It’s always the Persona Non Grata.”

    Stay tuned next week for the rest of our interview with Method Man about The Cobbler, out Mar. 13. —Miranda J.
    Gotta luv the ol' Wu. Each member has a way with words.

    The first Wu member that works duang into a rap will be my fav flava of the day.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #14
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    88

    RZA Responds To Method Man's Disparaging Wu-Tang Clan Album Comment
    by Christopher Harris
    posted Thursday March 05, 2015 at 03:30PM PST



    UPDATE: Wu Tang has released an official statement regarding the "88 year" clause attached to its Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album.

    A question by XXL Magazine concerning the waiting period for Wu-Tang Clan's highly anticipated Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album led to a harsh response from Method Man and a subsequent series of debunking tweets from RZA.

    Yesterday (March 4), Method Man told the Hip Hop publication, "**** that album."

    “I’m tired of this **** and I know everybody else is tired of it, too," he said. "**** that album, if that’s what they are doing. I haven’t heard anything like that, but if they’re doing crap like that, **** that album. Straight up. I’m just keeping it 100."

    Shortly after the interview was published on XXL.com, RZA took to Twitter to clarify Method's comments.

    "Y'all misinformed homies better go roll that sHhh light that Shhh and smoke that shhh and calm down. Y'all falling for the pork in the bun," he wrote via the social media site. "A lot of you are not listening to what is already in front of you. This has always been a Single album concept. No surprises. #new idea."

    "FYI. @methodman was misinformed by @xxl and you guys are riding a wave into rocks. Do the knowledge before you speak," he continued.

    According to the iconic rap group's promotional website for the project, scluzay.com, the "88 years" XXL was initially referring to has to do with when the album can be commercially released – for profit.

    The site states that the group "decided that the right to release the album would be transferred only after 88 years have passed."

    The Wu's choice to apply the number "88" is "mathematical coincidence."

    RZA explained on the site that there were eight original members of the Clan when they made "Protect Ya Neck" and "M.E.T.H.O.D Man." The individual numbers of 2015 also add up to the number eight. The broker of this work carries the number eight in its name. The number eight on its side is a symbol of infinity and was used on the Wu-Tang Forever album.

    "It’s always had great symbolic significance for us," he says. "For us it also addresses the issue of music’s longevity in a time of mass production and short attention spans. Nothing about this record revolves around short-term gains, but rather around the legacy of the music and the statement we’re making."

    Check out RZA's tweets below:
    RZA! ✔ @RZA
    Follow

    Y'all misinformed homies better go roll that sHhh light that Shhh and smoke that shhh and calm down. Y'all falling for the pork in the bun
    6:33 PM - 4 Mar 2015
    RZA! ✔ @RZA
    Follow

    FYI. @methodman was misinformed by @xxl and you guys are riding a wave into rocks. Do the knowledge before you speak. #wutang
    12:02 AM - 5 Mar 2015
    (March 5, 2015)

    UPDATE: Wu Tang has released an official statement regarding the "88 year" clause attached to its Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album. To clarify the misleading reports that have been circulating the Internet, the Wu states:

    Only one single copy of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin was ever to be made. This has been the case since the very first announcement. A commercial release was never planned. The right to commercialize it, meaning the right to sell it en mass to the public in any form is not allowed until 88 years from now.

    If the public rights were handed over now, then this would be a record deal like any other. Not the sale of a single copy. It can be exhibited publically and it can be given away for free. But it cannot be commercialized as a conventional album release until 2013. Even then, it will be the owner's decision to release it or keep it as a single unit, not the Wu-Tang.

    Quick - name a musician that was popular in 1927. Don't cheat and goog it now.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
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    Billy Holiday?

    (And if that's glaringly off its just proof I didn't goog)
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

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