Shaolin is under new ownership.
New ownership of the Wu-Tang Clan‘s unreleased album, Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, was revealed Thursday morning (Oct. 21) by the U.S. Federal Government, which was purchased from former owner-now-disgraced pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, The New York Times reports. According to the report, the album that was originally purchased by Shkreli in 2015 is now owned by Crypto collective PleasrDAO — who brought the secret album for $4 million dollars with multiple parties.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced the album’s purchase back in July, but PleasrDAO didn’t acquire the album, physically, until September and have been keeping the news under wraps in an undisclosed New York City vault. The collective of buyers, which also includes an unidentified party, have plans to release the album but have to receive formal approval from the album’s producers RZA and Cilvaringz first.
Shkreli brought the album in 2015 for $2 million dollars. He lost ownership of the album in 2017 following his conviction on securities fraud and was sentenced to seven years in prison. As shown above, PleasrDAO released a video announcement of the album’s purchase yesterday.
The Wu-Tang Clan is a legendary New York City rap group whose members are RZA, GZA, Method Man, U-God, Inspecktah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon The Chef, Masta Killa, and the late-Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Hailing from Staten Island, the group burst onto mainstream Hip-Hop in 1993 with their 3x platinum-selling debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, which spawned iconic singles “Protect Ya Neck,” “Can It All Be So Simple” and “C.R.E.A.M.”
Ever released, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will be the Wu-Tang Clan’s seventh studio album. According to reports, there is only one copy of the double album. Began in 2000, the album took six years to create with Cilvaringz as the album’s producer with RZA’s guidance. “From the time that project existed, it was a proper time to do what it did,” RZA told Business Insider in 2019. “I’m strongly against the devaluation of music, I’m strongly against entitlement that people feel about music. That campaign was a political and artistic exploration into that. Now, how it ended up in that dude’s hands and all that stuff, to me, I would do it again because that’s the myth of Wu. Wu-Tang also has a mythology about it. It wasn’t like this was talked about in our neighborhood. We among ourselves argued about it, but when that was done, it still continues across the globe. So I think it was something very unique and a great asset to the Wu-Tang legacy.”
More as the story develops.
In related news, the popular Hulu biopic series of the Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, earned its first Emmy nomination for its theme song back in 2020. A season 3 of the series has yet to be announced but appears undeniable with a 96% average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Season two of Wu-Tang: An American Saga, starring Ashton Sanders and Dave East, airs Wednesdays on Hulu.