A couple of diehard Wu-Tang Clan fans have come together in an effort to raise enough money to convince group leader RZA to sell the mystery Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album to them.
According to reports, two Wu heads have launched a Kickstarter campaign for the LP.
Russell Meyer, 29, a California native who lives in Astoria, and Calvin Okoth-Obbo, 26, who was raised in Uganda and lives in Park Slope, are soliciting funds on Kickstarter in hopes of placing the highest winning bid for Wu Tang’s single copy of “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin,” an album that’s been in the works for six years. (DNA Info)
The duo also explained why they would take such drastic measures to own Wu’s rare project.
Meyer and Okoth-Obbo, who had raised $51.50 from four supporters as of Wednesday evening, said they don’t have a problem with Wu-Tang getting paid for their hard work and insist they are not trying to undermine the Staten Island hip-hop group. They just want to be able to listen to the album without having to do it in one sitting at a museum. “I can’t imagine RZA being upset if enough Wu-Tang fans get together and raise enough money to purchase [the album],” Meyer said. “We don’t want some guy in Dubai who literally has money to burn to buy it as a collector item that only six people will get to listen to,” he added. (DNA Info)
Last month, RZA said his crew’s LP would go on a promotional run before being offered to the highest bidder.
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.” (Forbes)
Instead of throwing an average price tag or making mass amounts of the project, RZA will only allow one release to be made available for purchase.
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). (Forbes)