Much has been made about the legenadry Wu-Tang Clan’s secret album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which will be the world’s first “private album,” according to its mastermind Rza. There is only one copy of the 31-track album, which comes in a hand-carved nickel and silver box and will go to the highest bidder. They will have the right to tour the album at galleries and festival (using headphones only), but will have to wait 88 years for the rights to release the music at large.
We recently sat down with founding Wu member Ghostface Killah, who is launching a label in Toronto, about his thoughts on the album (or at least what he’s heard of it).
I have to ask about this Wu album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. You heard it?
Not everything. I heard a few pieces of it.
And not everyone is going to hear it for 88 years?
That’s what they say.
What do you think of that?
I mean, it could be good and it could be bad. My first thing was like, no, give it to the people. What are you going to hold it for? Then I look at it, like 88 years, most of us is going to be gone by that time, but you know, I don’t know how the state will be in music at that time, but if it is going all right, maybe people, it might give Wu-Tang another burst in 80 years.
Does that give you immortality?
I guess we’ll be here forever. Wu-Tang really will be forever if it’s like that. … I couldn’t understand it at first, neither, and sometimes I still don’t understand, and sometimes I do. I’m stuck in the middle
What do think of the parts that you’ve heard?
I’ve only really heard the parts that I’m on. Musically, it was all right. … It’s like this, what I heard, I’m not saying it’s like the first Wu-Tang album, but as far as the beats that were circulating around at that time, it’s like that. ... The ones I rhymed on. And it was decent. It was real nice. I murdered everything I was on, you know what I mean?
Follow Jesse Kinos-Goodin on Twitter: @JesseKG