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.

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