Ever since it was announced by RZA in 2014, the Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album has been surrounded by mystery and controversy, mainly because the album is protected by a very strict copyright that prevents its owner from sharing the music for another 88 years. The collection of songs was finally auctioned off courtesy of Paddle8, and it was purchased by a “private American collector” for an unknown sum.
However, what we do know about the album’s price tag is that it exceeds $5 million, which is a phenomenal amount of money. Produced by Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh and RZA, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin features unreleased music that was recorded over a six-year period by several Wu-Tang members. The owner will receive the album in a nickel silver box sketched out by a British-Moroccan artist named Yaha, and the deal also includes a leather-bound book of album lyrics as well as a gold-leafed certificate of authenticity and a pair of PMC MB2-XBD speakers that are worth $55,000 alone.