As previously reported, the mighty Wu-Tang Clan have two new albums on the way: their 20th anniversary record A Better Tomorrow and a unique, one-of-a-kind LP called The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The latter has been in development for nearly 20 years, a project thought up by RZA as a way to re-establish music as a highly-prized piece of art. The plan is to put the album on exhibit at museums around the world before selling it off to the highest bidder.
Today, Forbes.com provides our first preview of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin with a 51-second audio stream. According to Zack O’Malley Greenburg, who traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco to sample the album, the as-yet-unidentified Ghostface Killah song seems to features vocals from Cher, though a representative for the group wouldn’t confirm either way.
In an interview with Greenburg, producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh described the album as “a conceptual record where you’re trying to go back to ‘93-‘97, that glorious time. To get brothers into that mode again, as if they just came off the street, as if they were still out there trying to make a living and surviving, it’s difficult. … You’re trying to get them into an aggressive mode and the beats are aggressive, and funny enough, it drew it out of them, the beats actually commanded the way they performed.” Cilvaringz went on to note that 80% of the vocals had to be redone, because they lacked the right energy or anger.
Cilvaringz revealed that Wu-Tang has received several offers for the album, but they’re using a broker to ensure the legitimacy of potential buyers. He also said there is a great deal of interest for the group’s planned museum tour, with interested parties ranging from renowned museums to major universities.
Forbes has posted a video documenting Greenburg’s journey to Morocco and also offers a look at the album’s elaborate artwork. The music begins at the 9:00 mark.