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Wu-Tang Clan's $5 Million Album Personifies Music Industry's Unpredictable, Ever Shifting New Business Model

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2014 02:37pm | Post a Comment
"Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin ta fuck with" - those famous well-worn, two-decade old Wu-Tang Clan lyrics are proving to be most accurate with the latest news on the Staten Island (aka Shaolin) hip-hop crew who last week announced that for their next album (The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin) that they would only be manufacturing one single (physical) copy of the album.

That sole physical LP copy, to be released in addition to the later unlimited digital download version of this brand new album that was recorded in secrecy, would be auctioned off for what they hoped would be a final bid of a million dollars or more. The 31-track, 120 minute album will be a double vinyl set and reportedly packaged in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. Most intriguing is the ambitious figure of a million dollars or more that the group said they hoped to get. That was last week and I thought it was outlandish and unrealistic amount of money that in no way would they ever get. But I was wrong - very wrong.

As reported by Billboard magazine yesterday the Wu got offered a lot more than one million dollars. "Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday," the group's RZA told the music magazine. "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." Real positive is an understatement. That's absolutely incredible and a hell of a lot more money (provided this is not some hoax) than the Wu-Tang would ever make from selling an album via the traditional channels of releasing it via a major label like RCA who distributed Loud Records - their original label on which they released their hip-hop classic, 1993 landmark debut Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

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