Wu-Tang Clan’s Elusive 7th Album, The World’s Rarest, Is Being Played In Tasmania’s MONA
— 29 May 2024

Wu-Tang Clan’s Elusive 7th Album, The World’s Rarest, Is Being Played In Tasmania’s MONA

— 29 May 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Apparently, Wu-Tang Clan is also for the Aussies as the sole copy of their elusive seventh studio album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, heads to Tasmania’s Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) as part of its forthcoming Namedropping exhibition.

From June 15th-24th this year, the public will not only have a chance to gaze upon the ornate, handcrafted silver-nickel box in which it rests, but also receive some aural pleasure from MONA’s listening parties: a curated 30-minute preview of the total 31-track/128-minute run.

Tickets for this singular experience will be available from Thursday and — get this — completely free.

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“Every once in a while, an object on this planet possesses mystical properties that transcend its material circumstances,” said Jarrod Rawlins, Mona Director of Curatorial Affairs.

Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is more than just an album, so… I knew I had to get it into this exhibition.”

Wu-Tang’s Cilvaringz and RZA have described this as a “400-year-old Renaissance-style approach to music,” adding that they hoped by “offering it as a commissioned commodity,” it would “inspire and intensify urgent debates about the future of music.

Beyond the secretive nature of its six-year recording journey from New Yor City to Marrakesh; the legal condition that prevents its owner from releasing the tracks for 88 years or commercially benefiting from it (hence the free listening parties); and the obvious scarcity factor that’s thrust it into the realm of fine art, Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin has lived quite an interesting life.

After being auctioned through Paddle8 for a reported sum of US$2 million back in 2015, it became the property of controversial price-gouging “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli; who promised to release the album in full if Donald Trump won the 2016 US Presidential Election before attempting to pawn it off for just US$1.2 million on eBay.

But following the disgraced Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO’s securities fraud conviction, the coveted double album — along with his other assets (i.e. a Picasso painting, unreleased Lil Wayne album Tha Carter V — were seized by the US Federal Court.

In 2021, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin was sold by the US Department of Justice to NFD collectors PleasrDAO for approximately US$4 million to cover Shkreli’s debts. Which pretty much brings us to the present day.

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Only a handful of people have ever heard the contents of this album. The question is: will you be one of the lucky few to join this elite circle of hip-hop enthusiasts?

Find out more about the MONA listening parties below, and check out the (supposed) track listing for Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.

Once Upon A Time In Shaolin Track List

wu-tang clan mona

Shaolin School

  1. “Entrance (Intro)” – 1:57
  2. “The Magnificent Butchers” – 4:12
  3. “Staple Town Pt. 1 (Interlude)” – 0:44
  4. “Ethiopia” – 7:55
  5. “Handkerchief” – 0:49
  6. “Staple Town Pt. 2 (Interlude)” – 1:10
  7. “The Pillage of ’88” – 6:52
  8. “Centipedes” – 7:14
  9. “The Widow’s Tear” – 3:55
  10. “Sorrow” – 5:45
  11. “The Shogun” – 4:40
  12. “Blue [Interlude]” – 0:55
  13. “Semi-Automatic Full Rap Fanatics” – 1:56
  14. “Staple Town Pt. 3 (Interlude)” – 3:30
  15. “The Rain” – 7:16

Allah School

  1. “Sustenance (Intro)” – 0:43
  2. “Lions” – 6:08
  3. “Since Time Immemorial” – 2:32
  4. “The Slaughter Mill” – 6:31
  5. “The Brute” – 3:24
  6. “Iqra” – 7:23
  7. “Flowers” – 5:49
  8. “Poisoned Earth” – 4:34
  9. “Shaolin” – 6:14
  10. “Freedom (Interlude)” – 2:25
  11. “The Sword Chamber” – 4:05
  12. “Unique” – 2:32
  13. “The Bloody Page” – 5:09
  14. “The Saga Continues” – 6:58
  15. “Salaam (Outro)” – 1:31
  16. “Shaolin Soul [Exit]” – 3:41

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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