RZA Says He's Unsure About Purchaser Rights For "The Wu - Once Upon a Time in Shaolin"

RZA on the potential Wu-Tang Clan album: "This can change the idea and the venue of music. This is still a flower that's unfolding."

Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the very limited edition (1 copy created) album created by Wu-Tang Clan has been fielding offers from both investors and fans.

In a recent interview with Billboard, Wu producer RZA talked about the offers he's been receiving for the album and says he's gotten one for as high as $5 million.

"Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday, and they're also emailing other members of my organization," RZA said when asked about the offers he's been giving to date. "So far, $5 million is the biggest number. I don't know how to measure it, but it gives us an idea that what we're doing is being understood by some. And there are some good peers of mine also, who are very high-ranking in the film business and the music business, sending me a lot of good will. It's been real positive."

While that portion of the interview was previously reported, additional comments were released Friday (April 4) by Billboard. When asked about what exactly the purchaser of the album would receive along with it, RZA himself wasn't completely sure. The legal rights to the album is still something that is being discussed. 

"We're trying to put it under the same definition as a work of art, and when you buy art from a gallery it becomes your property, right? I'm not 100 percent educated on the deeper ramifications of art, but in theory, I would think that it's like when you bought a picture, it's your picture," he said. "I know there's other stipulations that's gonna pop up, but we understand this is a piece of art, so we should accept the terms of that.

"That right there is delicate. But [when] people are emailing me, 'I'll give you $5 million,' I'm not personally gonna make that sale -- I'm not an art gallery. So I think the best thing is to go into that world and let it take its proper course. And then if somebody was to buy it and say 'I'm gonna resell it,' I don't see where there's a problem with that, in all reality. But we're still doing research on it."

Finally, when asked about whether Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was a business model or a statement, RZA says that it's both and that the idea is "a flower that's unfolding."

"Both! It's definitely a business model," he said. "This can change the idea and the venue of music. This is still a flower that's unfolding -- there's still more layers that have to blossom -- and this is only part one. It's a three-tiered idea, and I think you'll appreciate each one, especially since you calculate what's going on in this business. [The music industry has considered] changing how you measure gold and platinum -- [the definition could be based on] what it generates. So I think this is gonna be a whole different model."

HipHopDX recently interviewed RZA about the multimillion-dollar project. Produced largely by Morocco-based producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is claimed to be as “rare as the Mona Lisa” by RZA and that “It belongs in an art setting, venue, a museum, or a gallery."

During the HipHopDX interview, RZA also elaborated on the album's release and how it may or may not impact Wu-Tang Clan's other potential album, A Better Tomorrow

“This idea to release [Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin] was since September [2013], he says. “And then we rediscussed it in December. I made the decision January 20. I made the decision on how I was going to deal with this particular piece of art. Then I made the announcement a few months later. It has nothing to do with A Better Tomorrow. I let everybody know in the office that works on A Better Tomorrow—the staff and everybody—that I’m gonna do something different. I wouldn’t tell nobody what it was.

RELATED: RZA Defends Multimillion-Dollar Wu-Tang Clan Album

24 Comments

  • fais

    crazy business plan.. if u think about it RZA is sharp.. he's putting an album out that can be sold to anyone.. but whose got the money to buy this album? if your spending so much money on an album, for some it becomes an investment where they'd like to c a return on that investment.. he's eliminating himself as a middle man for these execs and major labels. while still owning the rights to his own music.. he won't be obligated to anyone to tour and what not unless he decides to do so.

  • fais

    or he was jus high as a motha fuck when he came up with this idea and ran wid it

  • Anonymous

    RZA & Cilvaringdingz making moves... Jay Electronica Twitter thugging...

  • Anonymous

    You can listen to the album/snippets on spotify!

  • HEARD THE SNIPPETS

    LISTENED TO THE SNIPPETS OF THIS ALBUM AND ITS MORE OF THE WU TANG AFFILIATES NOT THE MAIN WU TANG DUDES....LOL SOUNDS LIKE A $5 MILLION DOLLAR ALBUM ALRIGHT...I WOULDNT EVEN TAKE THIS FRISBEE FOR FREE LOL, WE NEED A SEAN PRICE AND ACTION BRONSON TAG TEAM DUO ALBUM FUCK THE WU THEY R STR8 GARBAGE, ONLY WU DUDES I CAN VIBE WITH R GHOSTFACE WHEN NOT TWISTED HORRORCORE/HARDCORE, INS, BRONZE NAZARETH, TRUE MASTER THATS ALL

  • Anonymous

    Jay-Z Didnt create any new rules, he just claimed he did, if you really think Jay came up with the brilliant idea on how to promote and sell music in new ways youre way off!!! If anything, kanye sparked that idea when he promoted his album by making a 35 minute video for dark twisted fantasy, or when justin timberlake made his one week long promotional appearance on jimmy fallon, or when diddy made remixes for everything, or when 50 cent was revolutionizing the mixtape game, or maybe even when dr dre said that he got the crazy idea of releasing every detox track as a single with a video to it (not entirely your genius idea neither, Beyonce) and alot of other people did the same thing before that! The big difference is that nowadays even the big artists need to come up with an original promotion plan to stay relevant, Jay just made a video about it saying shit that everyone allready knew, except maybe the retarded dickriders And to say that this idea is stupid only makes you look stupid, people everywhere outside of hip hop sites filled with trolls are talking about this, this was a huge move which has allready payed off!! This will give them (or at least RZA) alot of money, and they wont even have to think about paying anything to release or promote it as it will be someone elses problem whom also wants to make money off this deal, not to mentionen that theyre probably still gonna release A Better Tommorow, which will get a lot more hype now than it would have before, and why are you even complaining? you get 2 wu tang albums instead of one!!! People just never know what they want....

  • RAEKWON

    show me the mail i'll believe you, lying ass nigga

  • IndaKnow

    Yall asking the wrong questions. Ask yourselves, was this really RZA's brilliant idea? Or was it Cilvaringz's? And yes, Rings beats > Rza by a gazillion nowadays

  • Anon

    It's impossible for it not to leak. Once it does, it's no longer rare. It could still be a classic though..

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  • leuris

    rza crazy. thats why rae aint fucking with him. he wants to sell the album for 5 mill give the members like 50,000 each and give away their points on the publishing because its art ... get the fuck out of here rza ... this nigga really think he doing something new .... the new rules were stablished by jay z ... you just following his footsteps .... i understand why rae dont fuck this clown no more ...

    • Barrio18

      Ya, no doubt. RZA done lost his damn mind. He can't seem to make a beat worth remembering anymore either.

  • DETROIT SLIM

    "Produced largely by Morocco-based producer Tarik Cilvaringz Azzougarh" LOL So a WU album barely produced by RZA with some unknown dude. Who the fuck even care about this shit honestly? These niggas are delusional

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I wouldn't call Cilvarings some unknown dude

    • Rich

      Cilvaringz beats > RZA beats (after 2000) 4th Disciple isnt that known either, neither is True Master, and theyve done some of the dopest beats. True Wu fans know how sick Ringz' beats are, he's the vintage Wu inspired sound, something RZA lost back in the 90s.

  • Drake runs rap

    who is this nigga and why is he important enough to make news about? No drake news no views no comments and no fucks given.

  • Mark The 45 Queer

    I doubt the shit is even worth listening to

  • Allah Will Punish This Blasphemous Nigga

    This comment was removed for violating our spam and/or offensive content policies.

  • Anonymous

    Didn't you already cover this? http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.28151/title.rza-says-he-has-5-million-offer-for-one-copy-of-wu-tang-clan-s-the-wu-once-upon-a-time-in-shaolin-album

  • Mortis

    A tranny once offered me $20 to give it a donkey punch

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