New Wu-Tang album offered as unique collectible at auction

Pioneering hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan is hoping to change the ailing music industry by creating just one copy of their forthcoming album and selling it as a unique collectible at auction.

Wu-tange unique album
The group hope to elevate music releases to the status of artworks by producing just one copy of the album

Tired of failing to make money on their albums, despite being one of the biggest rap groups in the world, Wu-Tang's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin - a 31-song double album - will embark on a tour of museums, galleries and music festivals, where fans will be able to listen using headphones.

It will then be sold at auction in an engraved nickel and silver box, fashioned by British-Morroccan artist Yahya. Like a piece of contemporary art, it is expected to net a sum "in the millions".

"We're about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before," Wu-Tang's Robert "RZA" Diggs told Forbes.

"We're about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music. We're making a single-sale collector's item. This is like somebody having the sceptre of an Egyptian king."

"The intrinsic value of music has been reduced to zero. Art is worth millions by virtue of its exclusivity."

The group hopes to attract attention back to music as an art form, something they have advocated for years.

As for the new owner, they will have the choice to either keep the album to themselves, or release it to the public for free.

As the music industry turns to digital downloads and music is increasingly given away free, more fans are becoming collectors, as they buy memorabilia as a keepsake from their favourite bands.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has items from legends such as the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan for sale.

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