How You Can Buy Wu-Tang Clan's Rare Album 'Once A Upon A Time In Shaolin'

By Tony M. Centeno

June 13, 2024

Wu-Tang Clan
Photo: Getty Images/PleasrDAO

Wu-Tang Clan fans finally have a chance to hear and own the iconic rap group's rare album... sort of.

Digital art collective Pleasr, who recently bought the album for $4.5 million, is offering people a chance to own a digitized and encrypted edition of the group's seventh studio LP Once Upon a Time In Shaolin. All fans have to do is log on to the official website, sign up and pay $1 — yes, only $1. Once purchased, owners will unlock an exclusive sampler crafted by the album's co-producer Cilvaringz. Each sale will bring the album closer from its legally bound release date of October 8, 2103.

“Mass replication has fundamentally changed the way we view a piece of recorded music, while digital universality and vanishing physicality have broken our emotional bond with a piece of music as an artwork and a deeply personal treasure," Cilvaringz & The RZA said in a statement sent out on Thursday, June 13.

Once Upon a Time In Shaolin was secretly recorded over the course of six years before it was completed in 2015. It was sold at auction for $2 million to "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli. After he was convicted of securities fraud in 2018, Shkreli was forced to give up the album to the U.S. government as an asset to pay off his $7.4 million forfeiture money judgment. Pleasr acquired the album from the Department of Justice for a total of $4.5 million in 2021. The company recently sued Shkreli for allegedly copying and sharing the album online.

As part of the sale, Pleasr cannot play the album in full nor can they distribute it until 2103. However, they can display the double-disc LP, which lies in a hand-crafted silver and nickel case, and play snippets of it. Pleasr recently brought the album to New York City where special guests and loyal fans were able to hear parts of the album ahead of its scheduled appearance at an art exhibit in Tasmania.

“This album sale is more than just about the music," Pleasr Representative Matt Matkov said in a statement. "It's about redefining how we think about ownership of music and fan collaboration in the digital age."

Now is your chance to own Wu-Tang Clan's most valuable project yet. Click here to cop your piece of rap history.

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