US rappers to sell one copy of next album 'for millions'
IN A challenge to the economic conventions of the music industry, US rap collective Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their next album for "millions" to a collector.
"We're about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of (modern) music," Wu-Tang Clan leader and co-producer RZA told Forbes. "We're making a single-sale collector's item. This is like somebody having the sceptre of an Egyptian king."
The double-album, The Wu - Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, was recorded in secret over the past few years.
It will be ensconced within an engraved silver and nickel box handcrafted by British-Morrocan artist Yahya, who Forbes says has produced work commissioned by royal families and business leaders.
According to the album's main producer, Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh, the album will go on a "tour" to museums, galleries, festivals and other venues just like an art work.
Visitors, who will have to pay to listen to the album, will be subject to strict checks to make sure they do not take recording devices into the exhibition space.
"One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept," Azzougarh told Forbes.
Once it completes its tour, it will be sold for a price "in the millions". A buyer could be a corporation willing to pay for publicity, or even a record company that will then release the album to the masses.
In an "edictum" posted on a website for the album, the producers said: "Industrial production and digital reproduction have failed. The intrinsic value of music has been reduced to zero. Contemporary art is worth millions by virtue of its exclusivity. This album is a piece of contemporary art. The debate starts here…"
The rappers will also launch a 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, this year, as a standard commercial release.