Remember the news that Wu-Tang Clan plans to sell one and only one copy of its upcoming album to the highest bidder? Well, now two die-hard fans are happy with that plan, so they have launched a Kickstarter to raise enough money so that they can buy the only copy – and then give it away for free. This is a noble pursuit and everything (well, as much as asking for $5 million from strangers can be noble), but it is literally the opposite of what Wu-Tang Clan wants for this album.
"The risk is some Saudi oil baron's kid spending his dad's money to collect a trophy and then he'll keep the album to himself and fans the world over will suffer." That's the reasoning Russell Meyer and Calvin Okoth-Obbo give for their Kickstarter plan. They don't want the single copy of The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin left to one greedy individual; they believe Wu fans the world over deserve to hear it. Again: respectable, if Wu-Tang Clan's whole intent for this one-off release wasn't to keep the album as exclusive as possible.
"I can’t imagine RZA being upset if enough Wu-Tang fans get together and raise enough money to purchase [the album]," Meyer said in an interview with DNAinfo New York. But something tells us RZA and the rest of Wu probably would in fact have a problem with this, because the point of the private sale of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is to make it "a piece of contemporary art." When they do make it available to the public, in museums and art galleries, listeners will have to wear headphones to prevent piracy. Wu-Tang wants to make sure this album isn't made available on the internet for free – and yet that's exactly what Meyer and Okoth-Obbo want $5 million to do.
There's one thing Meyer and Okoth-Obbo and Wu-Tang Clan agree on, though: the music industry sucks. "The music industry is in crisis," Wu wrote when they announced the hyper-exclusive album and the DNAinfo interview says Meyer and Okoth-Obbo believe they "will send a strong message to the music industry." They just have very different ideas on how to fix a broken system.
As of this post, the Kickstarter has raised a total of $569, with 52 days to go. Even if they somehow raise the remaining $4,999,431, it's probably doubtful Wu-Tang Clan will actually sell it to them (considering they already have one offer). You know, considering Meyer and Okoth-Obbo are very blatant in their desire to disobey Wu-Tang's wishes. And you don't want to disobey Wu-Tang. How many times do they have to tell you:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.