In speaking with Forbes, the Wu’s RZA said that fans can expect two new Wu albums to release this year, as the 20th anniversary of their debut approaches. The one album, A Better Tomorrow, will be the album that actually honors Enter The 36 Chambers and releases commercially, despite what the members said in Amos Barshad’s excellent Wu feature story on Grantland.
The other, enigmatic album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, is where RZA blows up the old rules of music. He will develop only one physical copy of the album; house it in a super opulent silver-and-nickel-engraved box and eventually sell it as a piece of art for millions after they take it on an exhibition tour.
Per the article:
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.
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.”
The price to listen to the album at an exhibition seems ridiculously high, especially considering a few members’ contributions might be less than satisfactory, but it can be leak-proof. If Watch The Throne served as an example, then they can probably get this thing around without it appearing on Filestube after the first stop.
But first RZA and Azzougarh will have to get people to care enough to pony up. Good luck with that, fellas.