Back in March, RZA made news, and arched eyebrows, when he announced he was auctioning off a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album to the highest bidder. Today (Nov. 24), it was revealed that Once Upon A Time in Shaolin… was sold to a private collector for an undisclosed amount in the millions.
The album had been stored in a vault in Marrakech, Morocco at the Royal Mansour hotel since its completion in 2013. The private sale was facilitated by Paddle8.
All we know about the buyer is that he or she is a “private American collector.” The deal actually went down in May but locking down the final contracts took months.
For RZA, the 128-minute album, and its sale, was all about art and innovation. The buyer isn’t getting flash drive but a hand-carved nickel-silver box that arrives a 174-page manuscript that contains lyrics, credits, and liner notes about the creation of each song. Oh yeah, it’s printed on gilded Fedrigoni Marina parchment and encased in leather hooked up by a master bookbinder.
They threw in a pair of customized PMC MB2-XBD speakers that run about $55,000, too. Also, part of the sale’s deal includes not making the music commercially available to the public for 88 years.
“The Wu–Tang Clan have always been driven by innovation, and this marks another moment in musical history,” said RZA via a press release. “From the beginning, we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity. Both of those goals have been achieved, and the ideas continue to evolve.”
Some of the proceeds of the sale will be going to charity, including the Children Literacy Society which helps inner-city children.
We’re assuming some of the those funds will also go to Wu-Tang Clan members (all surviving members reportedly contributed to the projects) or else we’ll hearing about the jig in forthcoming interviews and songs.
Check out photos of Once Upon A Time in Shaolin… heading to its new owner below and on the flip.
Oh yeah, can we get a listen? We won’t tell anyone, promise.