I Heard the $5 Million Wu-Tang Album That Won’t Be Played Again in Public for 88 Years

Jonathan Sturgeon writes about the new Wu-Tang album

The CD is housed within two nickel-silver boxes that were hand-carved by a Moroccan artist and his team of ten workers over three months; there is only one physical copy of the album in existence; all digital versions have been destroyed; and bidding starts at $5 million. And we learned yesterday that Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will remain under copyright until 2103 — that’s 88 years.

and listening party

“The irony of it is that we did it for the fans,” said the album’s producer, Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, who is himself a Wu-Tang superfan. He infamously dogged RZA so persistently that he became — loosely, controversially — a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

I was thinking of Wu-Tang’s fans as I arrived at MoMA PS1 several minutes late. I had been told in advance that no recording devices would be allowed in the museum, including computers or phones. This of course meant a long line, but it gave me an opportunity to see who would be attending this once in a lifetime exhibition. I saw Ebro Darden (the programming director of Hot 97), Jace Clayton (DJ Rupture), a handful of familiar faces from the art world, and a gaggle of confused “fans” who had won tickets from Power 105. Invariably, intensely, hilariously: the radio fans smelled like booze. And one of them inexplicably mispronounced RZA, “R.Z.A.”

I like Wu-Tang, but this stunt isn’t about the fans.

Companies can track what diseases you look up online

Well, this is terrifying. From Vice:

Tim Libert, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has discovered that the vast majority of health sites, from the for-profit WebMD.com to the government-run CDC.gov, are loaded with tracking elements that are sending records of your health inquiries to the likes of web giants like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest, and data brokers like Experian and Acxiom.

From there, it becomes relatively easy for the companies receiving the requests, many of which are collecting other kinds of data (in cookies, say) about your browsing as well, to identify you and your illness. That URL, or URI, which very clearly contains the disease being searched for, is broadcast to Google, Twitter, and Facebook, along with your computer’s IP address and other identifying information.

It seems like every day I see a new article showcasing what little privacy we really have.

Rediscovering Comic Books

When I was younger, I was a huge comic book fan. You could even say I became a collector. I amassed a large enough collection to fill two long-boxes.1 Like most kids, I started with the classics. I was a huge Superman and Batman fan due to the movies, so I started there. Then, I naturally moved to comics that featured both of those characters, The Justice League of America.

Now in the ’90s, the only Justice League that existed was Justice League America, a shell of its former greatness. I preferred the heroes of old. Instead of reading the exploits of Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, and the Guy Gardner’s Green Lantern of the ’90s era Justice League, I was reading about Superman, Batman, Hawkman, Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern, The Flash, and The Atom. I tried getting my hands on as many books of the Justice League of America from the ’60s and ’70s as possible. What also drew me to the books was knowing that they were some of the same books that my dad read as a kid. It was a bonding experience to know that we were reading the same things. Eventually, I expanded my reading to the solo books of Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkman, and even The Atom. Some of these titles were good. Others, not as much.

Once I started running out of books from the ’60s and ’70s I decided to try and pick up with my favorite characters in the present day. Again, some books were good and some were not. I really enjoyed the rebooted JLA of the late ’90s, which featured all the greats back together. Green Lantern with Kyle Rayner and eventually returning to Hal Jordan was also one of my favorites. I enjoyed a few issues of The Flash. Limited series, such as the DC event Final Night and the mini-series Kingdom Come were also excellent. It was about this time that I entered high school and started spending all my money on CDs instead of comic books. The comic book store was replaced by the mall, Best Buy, or even Blockbuster Music 2One day, I just quit reading and I never thought about going back. Read more


  1. Long-boxes are boxes that are slightly wider than the width of a comic book and go about 3 feet deep

  2. I swear, no one remembers Blockbuster Music, but it was really a thing.

Harper Lee will release her first book since To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite books. I was completely shocked this morning when it was announced that Harper Lee was coming out with a followup. Go Set a Watchman, which will be released in July, is essentially a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, despite being completed first. From Lee:

“It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became `To Kill a Mockingbird’) from the point of view of the young Scout.”

The premise of the book is that Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

While I don’t think anything can live up to Mockingbird, I’m absolutely looking forward to reading this.

Prehistoric Skull Helps Complete the Human Story

Interesting article about a prehistoric skull found in North Israel may finally prove that Neanderthals and modern humans lived together.

“It is the first direct fossil evidence that modern humans and Neanderthals inhabited the same area at the same time,” said paleontologist Bruce Latimer of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

“The co-existence of these two populations in a confined geographic region at the same time that genetic models predict interbreeding promotes the notion that interbreeding may have occurred in the Levant region,” Tel Aviv University anthropologist Israel Hershkovitz said.

I love discoveries like this. It makes me wonder if we’ll ever really know the full story of how we came to be.

Happy National Good Day Day

good day

Today is National Good Day Day. What is National Good Day Day, you may ask. Well, my dear friend, it is a day we celebrate every year in honor of the most perfect South Central day ever observed, on January 20th, 1992.

Murk Avenue breaks down the clues of Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” to pinpoint the exact day the song took place..

CLUE 1:
“went to short dogs house, they was watching Yo MTV RAPS”
Yo MTV RAPS first aired:
Aug 6th 1988

CLUE 2:
Ice Cubes single “today was a good day” released on:
Feb 23 1993
Read more

How White Flight Ravaged the Mississippi Delta

This article is absolutely fascinating and depressing at the same time. St. Louis has experienced its own form of White Flight with folks moving from the city to county,1 which, to this day, still keeps the area pretty segregated, a point that was seen quite vividly with the Michael Brown case.

After emancipation, plantation owners relied upon sharecroppers to grow and harvest their crops. To keep the system in place, white leaders studiously kept out industries that might lure their laborers away from agriculture, as historian James Cobb reported in his seminal book about the Delta, The Most Southern Place on Earth.


  1. Or even further West with St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren counties experiencing explosive growth over the past few decades