Wu-Tang Clan's unreleased 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' is headed to an Australia museum


NEW YORK — The sole physical copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s unreleased “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” is headed to Australia’s Museum of Old and New Art.

Only a handful of ears have listened to Wu-Tang Clan’s seventh studio album to date. But next month, lucky MONA visitors may be able to hear part of it, too.

In addition to putting the famed piece of music history on display, MONA said it would host private listening sessions featuring select tracks from the album between June 15 and June 24. Tickets, set to be released Thursday, are free — but there’s only a small number available.

“Run don’t walk, bring da ruckus, etc.” MONA wrote on Instagram Tuesday. The album will be a part of the Tasmania museum’s larger “Namedropping” exhibition that opens next month.

“Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” has been called the world’s rarest album.

After spending six years creating the 31-track double album, the multiplatinum hip-hop group put the single copy up for auction in 2015, on the condition that it not be put to commercial use. At the time, Wu-Tang Clan member RZA said he wanted the album — packaged in a hand-crafted silver and nickel case that includes a 174-page book wrapped in leather — to be viewed as a piece of contemporary art.

Entrepreneur Martin Shkreli bought the album at the auction for $2 million — but was later convicted of lying to investors and cheating them out of millions of dollars in two failed hedge funds he operated.

“Once Upon a Time is Shaolin” was sold to satisfy some of Shkreli’s court debts in 2021. Authorities did not immediately release information about the buyer or the price, but The New York Times reported that cryptocurrency collective PleasrDAO paid an intermediary $4 million for the album.

Shkreli, who is also known for jacking up the price of a life-saving drug and his “Pharma Bro” persona, was released from prison in 2022 after serving much of a seven-year sentence.



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