Rare Wu-Tang Clan Album to Be Played at Exhibit in Tasmania

A decade ago, the Wu-Tang Clan issued a sole copy of a CD-only album, secured it in an engraved nickel and silver box, locked it away in a vault and said it could not be heard by the public until 2103.

The move was seen as a protest against the devaluation of music in the streaming era. But a year later, the album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” got caught up in the very capitalistic endeavors that Wu-Tang had tried to avoid, when it was purchased by Martin Shkreli, the disgraced pharmaceutical speculator who was convicted of fraud in 2017.

He bought the album at auction for $2 million, only for it to be seized by the government and sold in order to pay off Mr. Shkreli’s nearly $7.4 million debt.

As these things go, an NFT collective purchased the album for $4 million in 2021. And soon, if you can get yourself to the island of Tasmania off the southern coast of Australia in two weeks’ time, you might be able to hear what RZA and the producer Cilvaringz created 79 years before it was meant to go public — or a part of it anyway.

From June 15 to June 24, the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, will host a series of private listening events where visitors will be able to “experience” a selection of the 31 tracks from the group’s seventh studio album. “You hear talk about once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” the museum wrote on the exhibit page. “This is probably one of them.”

Free tickets, “if you are lucky enough to secure” them, the museum said, can be reserved starting Thursday.

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