After Acquiring Wu-Tang Clan’s Rare Album For $4M, NFT Collective PleasrDAO Is Selling Access To It For $1

After Acquiring Wu-Tang Clan’s Rare Album For M, NFT Collective PleasrDAO Is Selling Access To It For

Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” could have an earlier release date thanks to non-fungible token (NFT) collective PleasrDAO.

In 2015, the legendary Hip-Hop group auctioned off only one physical copy of their seventh studio album, and former “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli reportedly bought it for $2 million, according to The New York Times. PleasrDAO then acquired the album for $4 million in 2021 from the U.S. government after Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud. 

Previously, Wu-Tang Clan’s sales contract with Shkreli stated that “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” was prohibited from being publicly released until Oct. 8, 2103, which was 88 years into the future. However, the album isn’t as inaccessible now. The New York Times reports that on June 13, PleasrDAO started giving listeners access to a five-minute sampler of an encrypted digital version, an NFT, for $1 in addition to fees. The collective stated it was part of an experiment and posed the question: “Do people still value music in a digital era?”

According to Pitchfork, Matt Matkov, a PleasrDAO representative, said, “This album sale is more than just about the music; it’s about redefining how we think about ownership of music and fan collaboration in the digital age.”

The New York Times details that each $1 the online collective receives knocks off 88 seconds from the album’s initial release date of 2103, shortening the time until release. Moreover, album proceeds will be distributed among the Wu-Tang Clan members and the album’s producers, including founding member RZA and Cilvaringz.

“The world’s most expensive album is available for $1,” PleasrDAO shared in an X post. “Enter the chamber and secure a copy – 2103 will come faster than you think.”

The Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania, is hosting private listening events for the album from June 15 to June 24. People who snagged free tickets to the listening sessions can hear 31 tracks from “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” per The New York Times.

Amid the announcement, PleasrDAO is also suing Shkreli for breaching the sale contract of Wu-Tang Clan’s album by livestreaming it. According to Cointelegraph, the collective claims Shkreli’s actions can cause it to “incur significant monetary and irreparable harm.”

“The Album was supposed to constitute the sole existing copy of the record, music, data and files, and packaging,” the complaint read, per Cointelegraph. “It now appears, however, that Shkreli improperly retained copies of the data and files at the time of the forfeiture and has released and/or intends to release them to the public.”

In the ongoing lawsuit, Shkreli claims that “PleasrDAO never voted or discussed this litigation with members.”

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