Legendary hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan has an ambitious plan to promote its upcoming album by releasing just one copy to the world. Now the group’s frontman, the RZA, says the strategy is already paying off.
RZA, born Robert Diggs, told Billboard that the Clan has already received offers of up to $5 million for its upcoming album The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The 31-track LP was recorded in secret over the last six years and will only be made available to a single buyer. Before being sold, the album will be demonstrated at museums and galleries in a kind of touring art exhibit that the group hopes will "provoke questions about the value and perception of music as a work of art in today’s world," according to an official website for the album. RZA did not specify who the current interested parties are, but they could include record labels who want to distribute the album widely, wealthy magnates who want to donate the album to a museum for the public good, or really, really big Wu-Tang Clan fans.
The Wu-Tang album is the latest in a string of increasingly elaborate promotional stunts that artists are using to get people to pay attention to their music. Beyonce released a surprise album in December that crashed the iTunes Store, and her husband Jay-Z distributed his latest work via smartphone last summer. RZA cites both endeavors as inspiration for the Wu-Tang's strategy.