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Wu-Tang Clan’ RZA Uncertain Of $5 Million Album Buyer’s Rights

Written by Nastassia Baroni on April 7, 2014

Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA has said he is unsure what will happen to the group’s one-of-a-kind LP, The Wu-Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, once it is sold to the highest bidder. Last week the frontman confirmed they’ve already fielded offers up to $5 million for the unique record, of which they are only releasing a single copy.

In a recent interview published by Billboard, RZA confirmed he wasn’t really sure what kind of rights the buyer of the record will receive along with their single copy of the one-off record or if they could potentially re-release the music to the public.

“We’re trying to put it under the same definition as a work of art, and when you buy art from a gallery it becomes your property, right?,” explained RZA. “I’m not 100 percent educated on the deeper ramifications of art, but in theory, I would think that it’s like when you bought a picture, it’s your picture.”

RZA said the buyer’s right to re-sell the record was a “delicate” matter they are still looking into. “I know there’s other stipulations that’s gonna pop up, but we understand this is a piece of art, so we should accept the terms of that,” he explained.

“I think the best thing is to go into that [art] world and let it take its proper course,” he continued. “And then if somebody was to buy it and say ‘I’m gonna resell it,’ I don’t see where there’s a problem with that, in all reality. But we’re still doing research on it.”

A few weeks back, Wu Tang Clan announced their plan to turn the music industry on its head, releasing just one copy of their new album to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The new double album comprises of 31 tracks and will be sold in an engraved nickel-and-silver box created by British-Moroccan artist Yahya.

While the crew have been fielding multi-million dollar offers for the release, RZA denies that they strategy is solely monetarily driven. “The main theme is music being accepted and respected as art and being treated as such,” he said.

“This can change the idea and the venue of music. This is still a flower that’s unfolding,” RZA emphasized, hinting that there’s more groundbreaking news to come. “There’s still more layers that have to blossom and this is only part one. It’s a three-tiered idea.”

Whatever the fate of this new Wu Tang material, fans unable to fork out a couple of mill are still promised new music this year, with the group’s long-promised 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, set for a standard commercial release in a couple of months.

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