Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin Turned Into NFT

Wu-Tang Clan’s one-of-a-kind album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, has been in the news a lot lately. First, in late May, it was announced that it would be played publicly at an exhibition at Australia’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). The exhibition runs from June 15-24.

Then, the album’s owner, digital art collective PleasrDAO, filed a federal lawsuit against former owner Martin Shkreli for copying the album and playing it for online audiences without permission.

Now, PleasrDAO is selling partial ownership of the album. Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, as noted in a press release, “has been digitized and encrypted,” which is to say that it’s been made into a non-fungible token (NFT) that can be bought for $1 on www.thealbum.com.

Purchasing an NFT of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin gives buyers access to an album sampler and also bumps up the album’s release 88 seconds at a time. As it stands, the album will be available to the public on Monday, October 8, 2103.

In a press statement, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin producers RZA and Cilvaringz said, “Mass replication has fundamentally changed the way we view a piece of recorded music, while digital universality and vanishing physicality have broken our emotional bond with a piece of music as an artwork and a deeply personal treasure.”

Matt Matkov, a PleasrDAO representative, added, “This album sale is more than just about the music; it’s about redefining how we think about ownership of music and fan collaboration in the digital age.”

PleasrDAO purchased Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $4 million in 2021. The new digitized edition of the album has new artwork designed by Hassan Rahim. The encrypted album is distributed in partnership with Privy, Crossmint, and Holograph, and it is built on Base. Cryptocurrency is not needed to purchase the NFT.