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Buyers of Wu-Tang's 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' Revealed

By Kiani Belgrave

Wu-Tang’s mysterious unreleased album, Once Upon a Time In Shaolin, may finally be hitting the airways. After anonymously purchasing the project from the federal government in July for $4 million, the buyers of the secret Wu album have finally come forward. 

The only existing copy of Wu-Tang’s seventh studio album was sold to now-incarcerated “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, who has been serving a seven-year sentence for securities fraud since 2017. 

On Wednesday (October 21), NFT collective, PleasrDAO, came forward as the buyers of Wu-Tang’s seventh studio album. The collective of 74 crypto enthusiasts announces they want fans to be able to finally hear the album.

PleasrDAO previously purchased NFTs connected to Edward Snowden and Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot. While the project was previously only released as a single physical copy, the album now also has a digital component. Although it can not be commercially released until 2103, the project will live on the blockchain. 

“This beautiful piece of art, this ultimate protest against middlemen and rent-seekers of musicians and artists, went south by going into the hands of Martin Shkreli, the ultimate internet villain,” Jamis Johnson, the collective’s 34-year-old “Chief Pleasing Officer,” told Rolling Stone. Unlike Shkreli, who even threatened to destroy the record, Johnson added that he wants people to hear it. “We want this to be us bringing this back to the people. We want fans to participate in this album at some level.” 

Wu-Tang affiliate and A&R Mathew “M-Eighty” Markoff spoke with HipHopDX to speak about the future of the secret album, saying,  “Congrats to the new proud owners at PleasrDAO. In my opinion, having Once Upon A Time In Shaolin in the hands of anyone other than Martin or the Government gives Wu-Tang and Hip-Hop fans alike across the globe one more renewed hope of one day hearing this mythical work of art.”

Are you guys planning to purchase a Once Upon a Time in Shaolin NFT once it’s public on the blockchain? Stay tuned for more news on Wu-Tang and their notorious secret album.