Earlier this month, no doubt between bouts of bitter in-fighting, Wu-Tang Clan announced plans for a one-of-kind album: some 20 years in the making, The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is to be released as a single, intricate copy and toured across the world’s museums and art galleries, like the rap game Mona Lisa, until sold at auction. While the idea originally seemed laughable, RZA quickly assured the public that the Clan had already received offers upward of $5 million for the musical artifact.
Now, in the hopes of securing the album and distributing it to fans worldwide, two Wu faithful have launched a Kickstarter to raise the aforementioned $5 million. In their pledge summation, Russell Meyers and Calvin Okoth-Obbo, both of Queens, wrote that they launched the campaign to avoid “some Saudi oil baron’s kid spending his dad’s money to collect a trophy and then (keeping) the album to himself and fans the world over will suffer.”
Reasoning aside, their overall logic is fairly sound. “For all the fans who won’t be able to pay 30-50 bucks to listen to a double album in one sitting, let’s raise enough money to buy this album and then turn around and give it away for free,” they write. “Wu members can still get their CREAM and the rest of us get to enjoy an epic album instead of some uber rich bastard keeping it to himself like a collector’s item.”
Unlike other Kickstarters, which offer rewards and incentives to entice supporters, the only non-album reward seems to be sticking it to “some fat cat in Dubai who might win the auction, keeping it all to himself.”
So, if everyone gets a digital copy, then who gets the coveted sole physical version? “We could rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to hold it,” Okoth-Obbo told DNAinfo New York. “Or we could do a vote or raffle of all backers to see who keeps it. It’s not about ownership, it’s about getting it out there. We’d rather just get the musical content and be able to share that with the people who want to be able to appreciate it.”
If you’re wary about handing your money over to two perfect strangers with questionable grammar, the pair confirmed that they will not “profit by even a single penny of backers’ contributions, nor will a cent be spent until the auction date when the entirety of funds raised will be bid in an attempt to win the album.” They added that if they somehow can’t secure the LP, there will be a vote to “either refund all money to backers or use the money to fund a Wu Tang related project such as a free concert for backers.”
Since launching Wednesday, the campaign has raised $223 out of its $5 million goal, with pledges coming to a close on June 9th. If you want to do your part, donate your hard-earned C.R.E.A.M. here.
Speaking of which….