Wu-Tang Clan to Auction Single-Copy Album 'Shaolin' Online

"This is being positioned both by the Wu-Tang Clan and by Paddle8 as a work of art," auction-house spokeswoman Sarah Goulet says

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Wu-Tang
Wu-Tang Clan perform at Bumbershoot in August 2014. The hip-hop group's single-copy 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' album will be auctioned online. Timothy Hiatt/Getty

The only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan's album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, will be sold on the online auction site, Paddle8, Forbes reports. Wu-Tang honcho RZA said in a video interview for Forbes that while the auction date has not yet been announced, more details would be revealed during a press conference tentatively scheduled for January 28th.

"They've had a lot of success over the last three years," RZA said of Paddle8. "And they also understand the concept of the new form of art, as well as the classic form of art — so people will find dinosaur bones to what Banksy is doing. This is modern art as well, and the new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, should be, and is, considered a piece of modern art."

Accompanying the sale itself, Paddle8 will also help launch a "micro-site" later this month that will feature interviews with the RZA, essays about the Wu-Tang Clan and a peek at Once Upon a Time in Shaolin's tracklist.

As Forbes also reports, the transaction will technically be treated as a private sale, and not an actual auction. According to Paddle8's Sarah Goulet, this is something auction houses do frequently: They'll separate the legitimate buyers from the pranksters, and the Wu-Tang Clan will ultimately decide which offered price is best.

"This is being positioned both by the Wu-Tang Clan and by Paddle8 as a work of art," Goulet said. "It’s truly treating this album, which very well may be the last album that the Wu-Tang Clan makes together, as a one-of-a kind, special property that is worth the price."

After Wu-Tang Clan announced Once Upon a Time in Shaolin last spring, the RZA said he'd been offered $2 million and $5 million for the album. Made over six years, and produced by the RZA and Cilvaringz, the 31-track LP reportedly boasts appearances from Redman, FC Barcelona soccer players and even Cher. Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will also come in a one-of-a-kind, hand-carved, nickel-silver box designed by the British Moroccan artist Yahya. 

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