Following news that Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album may not be released for 88 years, members of the Staten Island, New York-based group have come forward to offer their thoughts on the lengthy, commercial hold on the project.
While speaking on the commercial hold, Masta Killa spoke on the value in exclusivity as well as music being devalued as an art in today’s society.
“I think the only way to establish value in something is for it to be exclusive,” Masta Kill said. “That’s the whole point that I gathered for that particular piece of art. Music is also art, but it’s been devalued because of how it’s looked at now in the industry. Unless you’re positioned a certain way, you’re art’s value – for everything that you pour into to make what you make – is not the real value. The compensation artists now receive for their art is basically nothing. So the only way to establish that value is to be exclusive with something. If I’m not going to be exclusive with it, then what’s going to make this piece of art any different than any other album that you can go buy?”
During his interview, the New York City wordsmith also spoke on his contributions to Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. According to Masta Killa, he contributed verses to four tracks for the album.
“I was sent four tracks,” he said. “For each track, I was given a direction. ‘I need two 8s. On this one I need one 16. On this one I need four 4 bars. I need this done by a certain amount of time.’ That’s how I got the instruction for that project. At that time, I didn’t know this was what it would become. That’s what was asked of me, so that’s what I did. I haven’t heard anything since that time.”
At the top of this month, RZA and producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzourgarh announced that Once Upon A Time In Shaolin may possibly be released to the public after 88 years, during an interview with SCLUZAY.
“Anyone who knows the Wu-Tang Clan knows that we often apply numerology, mathematics and symbolism to the things we do,” RZA said while speaking on the significance of the number 88. “There were 8 original members of the Clan when we made ‘Protect Ya Neck’ and ‘M.E.T.H.O.D Man.’ The individual numbers of this year also add up to the number 8. The broker of this work carries the number 8 in its name. The number 8 on its side is a symbol of infinity, as it was used on our album ‘Wu-Tang Forever’. You can call it mathematical coincidence, but it’s always had great symbolic significance for us.”
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