In their latest update on the Wu’s secret album, which is currently locked in a vault in Marrakech, Forbes has discovered that the group have attached a particularly lengthy copyright to the CD, meaning it’ll be another 88 years before the eventual owner will be allowed to release it commercially.
“When you buy a painting or a sculpture, you’re buying that piece rather than the right to replicate it,” explained RZA in a Q&A on Wu-Tang’s new microsite. “Owning a Picasso doesn’t mean you can sell prints or reproductions, but that you’re the sole owner of a unique original. And that’s what Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is. It’s a unique original rather than a master copy of an album.”
88 years seems like a strangely specific — not to mention unnecessarily lengthy — wait to impose, right? Well, you can thank RZA’s obsession with numerology and symbolism for that. According to The Abbot, the number eight represents the original members in Wu-Tang, the name of the auction house selling the album (Paddle8), the sum of the digits in the year 2015 and, last but not least, the infinity symbol, when set on its side.
Wu-Tang have decided to leave the option to “tour” Once Upon a Time In Shaolin (as detailed in Forbes’ initial report) up to the eventual owner of the album. However, Wu fans who aren’t filthy rich will still have the opportunity to hear a 13-minute compilation of the record at a private event at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York tonight, where RZA and producer Cilvaringz will be speaking further about their plans.