“Our folks, don't understand what we're doing, I'm saying peace to the God, let your knowledge be born”
“Game of thrones, blood, get your name known, the ruthless ones, kill and display your bones, high on my horse, my swords seen many wars, fought off demons, dragons and minotaurs”
“Hood down, Timberland shoe strings Doc, getting bombed like the Husseins”
Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is a new work that serves as a retrospective soundscape, one that threads 31 songs, skits, and stories into a 128 minute-long aural screenplay. Recorded in part in the Wu-Tang Clan's home enclave of Staten Island, New York, the album marks a return to "Shaolin" not only geographically, but sonically and symbolically too.
Weaving a now highly dispersed ensemble of MCs into a compelling narrative plotted and played out over a course of years, the work features appearances from long-time Wu-Tang collaborators like Redman, and members of an extended brethren including Killarmy and Sunz of Man, with the familiar scene-setting of long-time backing vocalists Tekitha and Blue Raspberry
With a cinematic narrative (mixed especially to be experienced via immersive, studio listening) in the inimitable Wu-Tang vernacular, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is from start to finish—from execution through distribution—both a work of art and an audio artifact. “Musicians have long insisted their work ought to be treated like any other piece of fine art,” noted Time. “Now, the Wu-Tang Clan is putting its money where its mouth is to back up that assertion.”
A sonic sculpture (complete with custom-carved nickel silver casing) built emphatically against the grain of current musical standards of appreciation, the result demands a closer listen and reimagines the musical experience against the backdrop and confines of contemporary culture. As The Independent observes, “A challenge to the increasing disposability of music in the digital era, the album will be owned by just one person, and only heard by a few.”
Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is available for purchase and ownership by one individual only. It is presented in a hand-carved nickel-silver box and accompanied by a 174-page manuscript containing lyrics, credits, and anecdotes on the production of each song, printed on gilded Fedrigoni Marina parchment and encased in leather by a master bookbinder. For more images of the work, please visit scluzay.com.
The seller of this Artwork will provide the Buyer with a Certificate of Authenticity for the Artwork at the time the Artwork is delivered to the Buyer. The Buyer’s right of ownership of the Artwork and its content is for private use only. The Buyer acquires full public and commercial rights in the Artwork eighty eight (88) years from the date of sale. The seller has agreed, as a condition of the sale, not to ever release any of the content on the Artwork in any form, format, channel, medium or manner (including, print, disk, tape, electronic or virtual) to the public. This Artwork is offered for sale without copyright, broadcast rights, performers consents, and other reproduction rights. The Buyer must apply to the relevant parties to obtain such clearance and consents as may be necessary.
While the Wu-Tang Clan will retain the actual track listing and song titles of the album exclusively for the buyer, they have released a track listing of the working titles they used during the recordings, to prevent leaks. The actual song titles as they stand now, are said to be completely different and will, like the music, remain secret.