PleasrDAO adds Wu-Tang's one-of-a-kind album to its collection
The Wu-Tang Clan’s one-of-a-kind album titled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin has found a new owner in the world of digital art. PleasrDAO, a non-fungible token (NFT) investment collective disclosed that it was the anonymous organization that purchased the album from the Federal government in July this year. Allegedly, the digital art collective parted with $4 million to own the album.
Martin Shkreli, the CEO of pharmaceutical firms Retrophin and Turing (Vyera), was the initial owner of the album before the government repossessed it following his conviction for securities fraud. The pharma executive is infamous for increasing the prices of life-saving drugs by up to 5,000%
Shkreli bought Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in 2015 for $2 million, making it the most expensive piece of music at the time. The album is in the form of two hard-copy CDs. Its creators, Wu-Tang Clan’s lead, RZA, and producer, Cilvaringz, made it to protest against the devaluation of music in the digital era, which has seen musicians lose control over their work.
The OG NFT
Cilvaringz disclosed that the album seeks to return music to the value of fine art. While this was a puzzle at the time, the rise of NFTs has made it possible to mint the album as a one-of-one original.
This explains why PleasrDAO went after the album. According to the DAO’s Chief Pleasing Officer, Jamis Johnson, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is the OG NFT in many ways because it featured the ethos of NFTs before the technology even came into the picture.
The group seeks to bring the album, which comprises 31 tracks, back to the people. To achieve this, the organization aims to convince RZA and Cilvaringz to let it curate listening parties across the globe, allowing non-owners to listen to the 31 tracks.
Through this approach, PleasrDAO believes it can honor the legal restrictions around the work. These include the fact that the album’s release must be no sooner than 2103. Additionally, the album cannot be remixed or recorded. On top of this, the album’s owner cannot play it in front of large audiences, stream it, or even broadcast it online.
This purchase aligns with other PleasrDAO acquisitions of high-profile digital works. The group, which comprises NFT collectors, is less than a year old, and it focuses on digital art that reflects values like transparency and anti-establishment activism.
Before Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the organization tokenized the original Doge meme NFT, allowing anyone to purchase as little as $1 of the NFT. PleasrDAO also purchased Edward Snowden’s NFT titled Stay Free for 2,224 ETH.