Remember that time the Wu-Tang Clan released a single-copy album of brand new music, locked it away in a Moroccan vault, and set the price in the millions? Yes, that’s a real thing, and it all went down this past March.
“We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” says Robert “RZA” Diggs, the first Wu-Tang member to speak on record about the album. “We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of music. We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”
Some saw the Clan’s not-so-secret secret release of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin as one of those “so crazy it’s brilliant” maneuvers. Some saw it as a desperate publicity stunt. But the unanimous question was, would we ever get to hear the music? Many expressed outrage at the possibility that the winning bidder would never release it to the public, or never listen to it at all, in an effort to retain its mint-in-the-box value. Some did point out that it could be purchased by a record label to be distributed the old-fashioned way, but fans were still restless as they waited for an outcome.
If you were one of the people sweating it, then you’re in luck – 51 seconds of luck, at least. Recently, Forbes reporter Zack O’Malley Greenburg traveled to Marrakesh to meet with producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh and discuss the controversial album. Miraculously, he managed to get a quick sample out of him. You can listen to it here.
The small portion that was exposed has a strong build from start to finish, as well as some of that old school Wu-Tang flavor. It also features a familiar-sounding background vocalist, who was recently confirmed to be Cher. One of her representatives declined to make her available for comment, but did reveal that it is unlikely she spent any time hanging with the Wu-Tang Clan during her contributions to the album. “She recorded her parts separately, so I don’t believe there was direct interaction,” stated Cher’s representative.
If the Wu-Tang album was kept under wraps from even the collaborating artists, their parts recorded separately, then it is clear they took the top-secret idea seriously right from the album’s conception. This means it is pretty unlikely we will hear any more leaks until a bid is placed, making this exclusive clip all the more exciting.