A New York collector’s collective has bought a unique album from hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan for 4 million dollars (3.4 million euros). The collective hopes to one day be able to share the album, which has rarely been played and which fascinates many fans of the group.
The American court announced at the end of July that the album, ‘Once upon a time in Shaolin’, was being auctioned. The album was seized after the fraud conviction of Martin Shkreli, an American entrepreneur active in the pharmaceutical and financial sectors. He bought the album just before his fall. Initially, the buyers remained secret, but now they have revealed themselves anyway.
In a video posted online on Wednesday, the PleasrDAO collective now says they have purchased the 31-track album, of which only one copy exists. PleasrDAO is a collective of collectors of ‘non-fungible tokens’ or NFTs. NFTs use blockchain technology to record ownership of images, videos and collectibles.
The collective bought the album for 4 million dollars, various American media report, the articles of which are retweeted by PleasrDAO. The collective is already known to NFT collectors for buying digital works from American whistleblower Edward Snowden or feminist punk group Pussy Riot.
The online video shows one of PleasrDAO’s leaders, Jamis Johnson, opening the precious silver case containing the album and a book. He then uncorks a bottle of champagne and listens to the album with headphones.
The unique copy of the double album was recorded in the late 2000s and early 2010s by the Wu-Tang Clan, a legendary hip-hop group that rapped about the hard life in New York’s borough of Staten Island and used samples from kung fu movies. They wanted to sue that music was losing value through streaming and piracy, and protected the work. A clause banned commercialization of the album for 88 years, until 2103.
But PleasrDAO now says on its website that it hopes to share the album sooner. “While we are bound by the legal agreement accompanying this artwork, and may not be able to duplicate and share the music in digital form, we believe there are ways to share this musical artwork with the whole world. to share,” the collective writes.
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