World’s rarest record? A one-off Wu-Tang album sells for millions at auction

worlds rarest album sells for millions at auction version 1449679921 wu tang clan
YouTube
A one-of-a-kind 31-track double album by the Wu-Tang Clan has reportedly sold for millions of dollars at auction.

Called Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, the album was produced by Wu-Tang collaborator Tarik “Civalringz” Azzougarth and recorded over the course of eight years. The only physical copy in the world, the album comes with a contract that bars the buyer from publicly releaseing the songs for 88 years. The sale was carried out by online auction house Paddle8.

Though the buyer and specific price of the very special recordings remains anonymous, the auction house has confirmed that it sold to a private American collector for a price “in the millions,” according to Forbes. The sale occurred in May, but the contract wasn’t finalized until recently.

The buyer got a custom silver-plated jewel box with a CD of the album inside. Included with the box was a 174-page bound manuscript with credits, lyrics, and the story behind each of the 31 songs, and a custom Wu-Tang Clan pair of $55,000 PMC MB2-XBD speakers to listen to the record. (A stock version of the speakers is pictured below.)

PMC MB2-XBD Speakers
PMC MB2-XBD Speakers

RZA, a founding member of the famous Staten Island hip-hop group, has previously spoken about the groups reasoning behind the project, saying, “Owning a Picasso doesn’t mean you can sell prints or reproductions, but that you’re the sole owner of a unique original. And that’s what ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ is. It’s a unique original rather than a master copy of an album.”

Whether or not the songs will be made public in the group’s lifetime remains to be seen, and probably comes down to if the group wishes to re-negotiate with the album’s new owner. In a recent interview with NME, rapper Raekwon voiced his thoughts on what should be done, saying, “I think at some point people do need to be able to hear it but you got to remember the concept of it was whatever it was, whoever buys it, it’s yours. You hang it up in your house and you do what you do.”

Previously, members of the group had stated they hoped the buyer would take the record on a tour of museums, providing fans an opportunity to hear it in public. That said, concerns about digital duplication of the songs may prevent that idea from ever becoming a reality.

One thing is for sure: One wealthy Wu-Tang fan is out there listening to some very expensive hip-hop.

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Home Theater

SoundCloud hopes to add listeners with 50 percent discount for students

SoundCloud launched a student discount for it's top-tier SoundCloud Go+ membership, dropping the price to just $5 a month. It's a good deal for students, but will it be enough to keep the music platform from going under?
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Home Theater

iPhone owners can finally hear the highest-quality streaming music on Tidal

If you're an iPhone owner who is after the highest possible audio quality from your streaming library, you now have the best option out there: Tidal's Masters Quality Audio (MQA) is now available on iOS.
Home Theater

Get loud with the best outdoor speakers to rock your party in any weather

From rugged, solar-powered backwoods listening companions to floating pool party jam boxes, the best outdoor speakers partner with your lifestyle to let you listen to your favorite tunes wherever you go.
Music

Apple Music offers a few subscription options. We break them down here

Competition for music streaming apps is quickly dwindling with giants like Apple Music and Spotify dominating most of the market? But how much does Apple Music cost and what does a subscription to the music-streaming platform entail?
Home Theater

If you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, you now get Hulu for free

Spotify Premium subscribers have yet another reason to love the Swedish streaming service, with the company now offering ad-free Hulu accounts to all premium users at no additional cost.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Home Theater

Apple Music completes its Amazon migration, is now available on Fire TV

Amazon's popular Fire TV devices are now compatible with the most popular on-demand music streaming service in the United States, thanks to a new integration with Apple Music that has finally hit Fire TV devices.
Emerging Tech

This streaming music service pays artists in Bitcoin, plants trees if you listen

Feedbands is an environmentally friendly subscription streaming music service that pays its artists in Bitcoin, and plants trees in exchange for authenticated listens from customers.