[Warning: May contain explicit content]
We now have NEW pictures of the one of a kind Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.
HERE’S THE FULL ALBUM TIMELINE
The story of this album is one of triumphant proportions. First was auctioned in 2015 through Paddle8 to Pharmaceutical company CEO Martin Shkreli, legal agreements stipulated that the album could not be commercially exploited for 88 years, in 2103, although it could be released free or played at listening parties. According to RZA, the number eight was symbolic as there were eight original members of the Wu-Tang Clan, the numbers of the year 2015 add up to eight, Paddle8 has eight in its name, and a rotated eight is the symbol for infinity, used on their second album, Wu-Tang Forever.
UNFORTUNATELY, we aren’t getting to listen to any of the stowed away tracks quite yet…HOWEVER…we ARE getting a first look at the ornate packaging for the LP, due to a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request from Jason Leopold & BuzzFeedNews.
In March 2018, Shkreli was convicted of fraud, and a federal court seized assets belonging to him worth $7.36m, including Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The US Department of Justice then sold the album on July 27, 2021, at Shkreli’s March 2018 sentencing. Later in the year, in October 2021, a group known for purchasing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that honor “anti-establishment rebels”, PleasrDAO, was revealed to be the new owner of the album. Together with multiple parties, including one unidentified party, PleasrDAO purchased the album for $4 million USD. PleasrDAO spokesperson Jamis Johnson described it as the “ultimate protest against middlemen and rent seekers of musicians and artists”, which had been rescued from the hands of Shkreli, “the ultimate internet villain”. The group hope to make the album more widely available, but are bound by the restrictions forbidding its release to the general public.
NEW: @BuzzFeedNews & I sued the govt under #FOIA for docs about it’s sale of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. We obtained amazing new pics of it, bill of sale, purchase agreement & more. But govt claims sale price of album is a trade secret! https://t.co/SYZCL14IpO pic.twitter.com/2JjKPLM2wN
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) January 5, 2022
View all the disclosed photos here & wu-tang forever.