The exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin now has a new home, six years after being snapped up by criminal pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli.
Who are they?
The group of NFT collectors and digital artists have become notable in the crypto space for their purchase and ownership of a number of high-profile NFTs in recent years. In April, they got their hands on an NFT made by Edward Snowden for USD $5.4 million. By September, they purchased the original Doge meme for a staggering USD $255 million.
So when it came to Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, perhaps it was a natural fit for a collective like PleasrDAO to become the eventual owners.
As described by PleasrDAO’s Jamis Johnson, the crypto collective’s purchase of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin has been made with the intent to bring exclusivity back to the artist in a way where the artist can still benefit.
“This album at its inception was a kind of protest against rent-seeking middlemen, people who are taking a cut away from the artist,” he said. “Crypto very much shares that same ethos.”
Unlike Shkreli’s ownership of the record, which let’s be honest, read like a villain’s plot, PleasrDAO eventually hope to have the music shared with audiences. Currently, the record is being stored in a ‘vault’ in New York City, while the collective continues to work on getting approval from both RZA and producer Cilvaringz.
Originally, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin was deliberately created by Wu-Tang in a protest by the group against the devaluation of music in the new digital age. The rules surrounding its release currently bar the widespread sharing of the album until 88 years after the release.