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2013 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Day 3

Frazer Harrison


Wu-Tang Clan’s mysterious one-copy album just became even more exclusive.

The group has announced that Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, an album that exists only in a single copy with no backups, will be sold through online auction house Paddle8, and then contractually shelved from commercial release for at least 88 years.

The album’s buyer will likely pay upwards of a couple million dollars for the record and will be able to put it to personal use however they please. Beyond that, they’ll have to wait.

Cilvaringz, an outside producer who put together the Wu’s upcoming release, announced through Forbes that public and commercial usage rights will transfer over to the auction winner after 88 years. That means that the earliest possibility for an official commercial drop of the album would be in 2103.

Still, despite the legal obligation, whoever buys Once Upon A Time In Shaolin could leak it for free once it’s in their possession, making the ritzy rollout a major shot-in-the-dark.

As for the inspiration behind the seemingly random 88-year timeframe, Wu-Tang frontman RZA explained it on familiarly cryptic terms, tracing a line from the original number of Wu-Tang members to the sum of the digits in 2015 (which is also 8).

Whoever wins the Paddle8 auction will get the first look at the still-secret tracklist, a 174-page leather-bound book containing liner notes, and of course a chance to listen to the music itself.

Paddle8 already has a secretive holding page for the auction on its site. Sign up here if you want to get those bids in.


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Want To Hear Wu-Tang Clan’s Secret Album? You’ll Have To Wait 88 Years  was originally published on

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