Fans Start Kickstarter Campaign To Crowd-Source Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin"

"I can't imagine RZA being upset if enough Wu-Tang fans get together and raise enough money to purchase [the album]," Russell Meyer says.

According to an article published today on DNAinfo, two Wu-Tang Clan fans have joined forces and initiated a Kickstarter campaign with hopes of crowd-sourcing the purchase of the group’s upcoming one copy album. As reported by HipHopDX last month, the group revealed plans to release a project called The Wu - Once Upon A Time In Shaolin with an unprecedented method of distribution according to Wu-Tang producer RZA.

“We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music,” he said. “We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”

As per DNAinfo, Wu-Tang fans Russell Meyer and Calin Okoth-Obbo have established their Kickstarter campaign with a $5,000,000 goal in hopes of securing the highest bid for the release. That number was presumably chosen as a function of recent claims by RZA regarding the private offers the group had been made.

"Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday,” RZA told Billboard earlier this month. "I've been getting a lot of e-mails—some from people I know, some from people I don't know, and they're also e-mailing other members of my organization.”

Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is reportedly slated to feature 31 songs and clock in at 128 minutes in length. With production handled primarily by previous collaborator Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, RZA detailed plans to charge fans for the privilege of a one-time listen while touring the work at festivals, galleries, and museums. “The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for years,” RZA said. “And yet its doesn’t receive the same treatment as art in the sense of the value of what it is, especially nowadays when it’s been devalued and diminished to almost the point that it has to be given away.”

Meyer’s and Okoth-Obbo’s Kickstarter campaign claims that neither will profit if the goal is reached. “As the founder of this group I pledge to not keep a single penny of the money raised,” the page says. “Every cent will be bid to win the album. If we don't get it then everyone gets their money back.”

Detailing the motivation behind the campaign, the page also details plans to provide the album for fans free of charge if successful. “For all the fans who won't be able to pay 30-50 bucks to listen to a double album in one sitting, let's raise enough money to buy this album and then turn around and give it away for free,” they write. “Wu members can still get their CREAM and the rest of us get to enjoy an epic album instead of some uber rich bastard keeping it to himself like a collector's item.”

In an interview with DNAinfo, Meyer explained feeling like the group might appreciate the gesture. “I can’t imagine RZA being upset if enough Wu-Tang fans get together and raise enough money to purchase [the album],” he said. “We don’t want some guy in Dubai who literally has money to burn to buy it as a collector item that only six people will get to listen to.”

“We're all for changing times,” he added. “But when you make the content exclusive and only able to be accessed by a select few, the fans suffer and it's an elitist stance that doesn't really jive with hip-hop culture.”

Speaking on the possibility that the campaign is successful, Okoth-Obbo revealed not having a plan in place with regard to the preservation of the original copy itself.

“We could rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to hold it,” Okoth-Obbo said. “Or we could do a vote or raffle of all backers to see who keeps it. It’s not about ownership, it’s about getting it out there. We’d rather just get the musical content and be able to share that with the people who want to be able to appreciate it.”

In an exclusive interview with HipHopDX earlier this month, RZA defended the group's approach and market-dictated price. “As far as the value of it, the value could go from wherever,” RZA said. “It may be worth $20 million. It may be worth $100 million. Who knows? That’s the value that a person puts upon it. That’s what art is about. When you see a piece of art, somebody goes, ‘What is that? It’s just a painting of a woman.’ Yeah, but that painting of that woman is worth $100 million based on the person that appreciates it to his heart like that and based on how the world is gonna view it. That’s important to me.”

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


  • Anonymous

    Yeah...keep listening to Wayne and Drake bruh. Obviously Wu isn't for you. You might be too watered down for the WU. Stuck in the past? Wayne's music is evolved from wutang. French MOntana too. Hell French has a hit single with loyal.

    • Anonymous

      frenchs verse sucks and tygas in the video they play the one with too short on the west coast french montana makes down syndrome music over hot beats

  • Anonymous

    im never giving wu another dollar after rza and his label fucked me over, stole my money and gave me nothing, with no response to dozens of emails over the last year

  • Anonymous

    Looks like The Wu`s plan worked lol

  • Anonymous

    keep your garbage ass album. Old lame ass rappers who are 48 years old rapping about guns and selling coke. Get a life! Wu tang aint for the kids anymore. Now we listen to lil wayne and drake

    • Anonymous

      Yeah...keep listening to Wayne and Drake bruh. Obviously Wu isn't for you. You might be too watered down for the WU.

    • Anonymous

      aint that the same shit that all these weak ass trap niggas rappin about lol?

    • Anonymous

      Guns and selling've obviously never listened to a single Wu song lol. And Wu is 20 years in and has the fan base to rock for as long as they want. Little Wayne was hot for like 3-4 years and now he's already all done. Talk about falling the fuck off.

  • ka-as

    who ever buys this album will be let down when they hear no doubt i love wu-tang but when u hype something up the way rza is ur expectations are just not possible

  • OnkelMichael

    Very good...counterstrike against Cilvaringz and RZA's doo doo marketing strategies.

  • triPAUD

    Yeah this is the correct response. It makes sense.

  • Anonymous

    RZA & Daz Dillinger are the biggest thief's in ''the house of hip hop''

  • I kick in the door like Daddy's Home

    Does the wu album even matter when u got Raekwons FILA album in like a month Ghostface's Supreme clientele 2 this summer and Wu-Block 2 getting a release date soon

    • dumb fuck go listen to young homo thug

      da fuck are you talking about chef always picks great beats last 3 albums have been banging Only Built Cuban part 2 was classic Shaolin vs wu tang was fire and wu-massacre was dope

    • AlecDawesome

      You're an idiot if you think that Raekwon album will be good

  • Anonymous

    Rza is a snake like p didiy

  • tededfred

    The man is insane. FUCK RZA.

  • jkwgjkw

    that's stupid as fuck.. What if I donate more money than everyone else? The nigga who started the kickstarter would still get the box n shit

    • Anonymous

      or that's what they should do, that guy's suggestions of raffling it and shit are stupid.

    • Anonymous

      I don't think so, I think it'll go somewhere common, like a gallery. They should release the album online and put it in a museum.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck RZA for this bullshit. I'll GLADLY download this shit

  • Bring the motherfucking ruckas

    so far they raised $944 dollars need to get sum celebrity with millions of followers to tweet bout it then you might get some real backing behind it but 5 million is a lot of dough I really doubt anyone was even serious when offering rza millions for the album wu-tang haven't made a good album since Forever

  • I love Wu but Fuck You RZA and Cilvasandnigga

    *as a collective

  • I love Wu but Fuck You RZA and Cilvaringz

    The Wu: Once Upon A Time In Shaolin = real, raw, grimy, vintage Wu-Tang sounding music from the 90s, most likely their best effort aaa collective since "Forever", and another classic for their legendary catalog. A Better Tommorrow = generic, mediocre, weak, similar to 8 Diagrams. RZA and Cilvaringz's reason for not giving us good one, because real effort and time went into that one, so they give us the bullshit album. I will be denoting money for the Shaolin album.


    Rza is delusional. Tryin to raise 5 million for an album produced by some nobody. Who the fuck is " Tarik Cilvaringz Azzougarh"? Ill be surprised if they raise anything at all. Talkin all that shit bout a "piece of art" and all that.Just another album talkin bout money,guns, n hoes

  • Anonymous

    if that kickstar reaches its goal of 5 mill. i will agree wu tang has the most loyal fans in the world.


    These people are idiots. RZA doesn't care about his fans. Thats why it was so easy for him to rip off thousands of fans with his record label Soul Temple Music and not even care. Like BOYCOTT SOUL TEMPLE MUSIC on Facebook if you got ripped off too.

    • respect the streets

      Should get stuff from 'Mass Appeal' they paid for my customs charges of 25 dollars didn't even need to prove to them stand up company. 'Get on Down' are also some stand up niggas I thought they had charged me too much for delivery so he sent me another boxof stuff free of charge dunno whats in it yet but they didn't have to do it. Soul Temple sound like they don't give a fuck which is crazy cause wu-tang have the most hardcore loyal dedicated fans around always support the shows n music n you see more wu-tang tats than any other hip hop ones

    • Anonymous

      Rza and Bob Perry stole over $100 from me too. They don't respond to e-mails and once every 4 months send out a mass email about how everything is being worked out and we will soon get the product we paid for over a year ago. A month or so ago they even posted a list of names on facebook of people whos stuff has been shipped out but no one on the list saw a thing.

  • Doublespeak

    That approach simply will not work. Whoever purchases it is going to be paying for 2 things; 2 hours of (hopefully) dope Wu-Tang music, and the exclusivity of being the ONE person to have it. The more something is passed around (however well-intentioned), its value diminishes. If we're talking about $5m+ then most of that price will come from the level of exclusivity.

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