Members believe there are many ways for fans to hear it.
The cryptocurrency group has bought the Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ equivalent of $4 million (£2.89 million) in cryptocurrency in the form of NFTs.
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PleasrDAO, a cryptocurrency collective led by Jameis Johnson, has purchased a sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album, previously owned by former hedge fund manager and convicted criminal Martin Shkreli.
The US federal government confiscated the album from Shkreli and sold it to an unidentified buyer after ‘Pharma Bro’ was found guilty of fraud in 2017 – two years after he bought a record for $2 million (£1.4 million).
Now, PleasrDAO, which previously bought digital collections involving Russian dissident punk Pussy Riot and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, owns the copy. [per The New York Times].
The purchase took place through an intermediary because the US government does not currently treat cryptocurrency as real money.
“The album was a kind of protest at its inception against the middlemen demanding rent, people who are taking a cut from the artist,” Johnson, who labels himself as the group’s chief delight officer, told the publication. told. “Crypto shares a very similar ethos.”
The Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA said at the 2015 release of ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’: “The idea that music is art is something we have been advocating for over the years. Equal treatment is not available in the sense that it is, especially nowadays when it has been devalued and reduced almost to the extent that it has to be given for free.”
As a result, the rap group made just one copy of the album and sold it with the condition that it could never be shared publicly.
“We believe we can do something with this piece,” Johnson said, despite the purchase agreement, “to enable it to be shared and ideally owned by fans and anyone in the world.” It is not at all clear how PleasrDAO can do this.
PleasrDAO has been in touch with RZA and the project’s co-creator, Dutch rapper Silvaringz. RZA, who had previously tried to bring back the album, declined to comment.
However, Silveringz issued a statement: “We wanted to respect the NFT concept without breaking our rules.”
Meanwhile, RZA recently said that they thought 2Pac was a more “dangerous” rapper than The Notorious Big, comparing the late icon to Malcolm X in terms of his worldview.