Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wu-Tang Clan’s Secret Album Has Finally Been Sold

In two separate pieces this week, FORBES broke the news that the Wu-Tang Clan had sold its secret album to an unknown bidder. Today, new details are beginning to emerge.
According to a release by Paddle8, the upstart auction house that sold the double-album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin has been sold to a “private American collector” for a price “in the millions.” The sale was agreed upon in May, but it took months to finalize contracts and legal protections for the unusual record.

“The Wu-Tang Clan have always been driven by innovation, and this marks another moment in musical history,” said Wu-Tang cofounder RZA in the statement, adding that the group would donate a significant portion of the proceeds to charity. “From the beginning, we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity. Both of those goals have been achieved, and the ideas continue to evolve.”

Though the precise amount of the sale has not been revealed, Paddle8 says it makes Once Upon A Time In Shaolin the most expensive single album ever sold, topping Jack White’s $300,000 purchase of a rare acetate recording of Elvis Presley’s first song.

“We pioneered a new type of intellectual property regarding the sale of a work that is simultaneously physical and digital, creating previously unexplored legal protections for a unique work that cannot be reproduced,” added Paddle8 cofounder Alexander Gilkes. “This marks an exciting new model of distribution for the music world and we look forward to playing an ongoing role in this innovative model.”

[via FORBES]

Friday, November 13, 2015

RIP ODB - 11 years ago today

Eleven years ago rapper O.D.B., a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan whose erratic behavior and incessant legal troubles made him a figure as wild as his lyrics, collapsed and died inside a recording studio at age 35.

O.D.B. had recently finished a prison sentence for drug possession and escaping a rehab clinic. He had complained of chest pains before collapsing Saturday, and was dead by the time paramedics arrived, said Gabe Tesoriero, a spokesman for O.D.B.’s record label, Roc-a-Fella.

Monday, November 9, 2015

22 years ago… Enter The Wu-Tang

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the debut studio album by the American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, released November 9, 1993, on Loud Records and distributed through RCA Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1992 to 1993 at Firehouse Studio in New York City, and it was mastered at The Hit Factory. The album's title originates from the martial arts film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978). The group's de facto leader RZA, also known as Prince Rakeem, produced the album entirely, utilizing heavy, eerie beats and a sound largely based on martial-arts movie clips and soul music samples.

Upon its release, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) received rave reviews from most music critics. In an article for The Source, The Ghetto Communicator wrote "This record is harsh, but so is the world that we live in. For B-boys n'girls who come from the core of the hard, this is the hip-hop album you've been waiting for".Rolling Stone's review was decidedly ambivalent, praising the album's sound, but noting that "Wu-Tang...are more ciphers than masterful creations. In refusing to commodify themselves, they leave blank the ultimate canvas—the self." Entertainment Weekly was more enthusiastic, giving the album an A, and writing that "With its rumble jumble of drumbeats, peppered with occasional piano plunking, Enter has a raw, pass-the-mike flavor we haven't heard since rap was pop's best-kept secret."Robert Christgau found the Wu-Tang Clan "grander" and "goofier" than their West Coast contemporaries and concluded, "Expect the masterwork this album's reputation suggests and you'll probably be disappointed--it will speak directly only to indigenous hip hoppers. Expect a glorious human mess, as opposed to the ominous platinum product of their opposite numbers, and you'll realize the dope game isn't everyone's dead-end street".
Music journalist TourĂ© declared of the album, that "This is hip-hop you won't find creeping up the Billboard charts but you will hear booming out of Jeep stereos in all the right neighborhoods." However, Enter the Wu-Tang had surprising chart success, despite its raw, underground sound. It peaked at number 41 on the Billboard 200 chart and reached number eight on Billboard‍ '​s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The album continued to sell steadily and was eventually certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on May 15, 1995.

Police Are Investigating a Double Stabbing at RZA's Home in New Jersey

Police are investigating a double stabbing that happened on Saturday morning at the home of Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA.

According to, authorities could not determine if RZA was at home during the incident. New Jersey State Police responded to a report of a stabbing at RZA’s home on Deer Trail Drive at 1:18 A.M. earlier this morning. When they arrived on scene, they found two men stabbed, who were taken to University Medical Center in Neptune to treat their injuries.

RZA was not named as one of the men who were taken to the hospital. Although New Jersey State Police didn’t confirm the home was owned by RZA, property records show his name is listed. The investigation is still ongoing.

Recently, there have been newly released court documents that show the FBI were investigating the Wu-Tang Clan in 1999 over the murders of two drug dealers in Staten Island.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

RZA Donates To Chess Program To Benefit St. Louis Youth

The Wu-Tang rapper speaks on the importance of chess.

RZA made a donation to the Hip Hop Chess Federation to develop a program for incarcerated youth to learn the game of chess, okayplayer reports. He will also now serve as a Federation board member.
Last month, RZA met with about 400 inmates of a juvenile hall in St. Louis to play chess with the students and detail the lessons that can be learned from the game.

"Y’all are in here for not controlling your energy, yo,” the Wu-Tang rapper said. “You are here now for not being analytical about the results of the actions you have taken. I’m the last one to talk in some sense. I’ve been through the same system…Me and my brother got our first gun, when I was 11 or 12…Riding NY city buses looking for what they call, a vic'."

The Federation, founded in 2006, started as a program to teach chess to under privileged children and has now expanded to include classes in Brazilian jujitsu and performing arts.

"It’s a game of chess in one sense," RZA continued, "but in another it’s a study of life. We in the Hip-Hop Chess Federation are striving to bring awareness to Americans, to Black youth, but to the whole of American youth… That chess study, along with martial arts, along with music is the best way to help develop your mind and body and protect you from pitfalls in life that will surely come at you."

[via hiphopdx]

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wu-Art Thursday #171 Special Edition

Go61in lives in Seoul, South Korea and big fan of the Wu-Tang. It was when RZA participated in the music work for the movie Kill Bill and AfroS amurai that Go61in first got to know of the Wu-Tang. After the movie, Go61in did some researches about RZA and found out that he was a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Go61in started listening to their music and one day,  drew RZA for fun. He put it up on his Instagram and somehow it became popular, which led him to drawing all the members of the Wu-Tang. Go61in is very happy to have this opportunity to introduce his drawings to the public on a large scale. To say a word about his goal, "I want to be able to put my thoughts and feelings into the drawing so that they may effectively deliver the message I try convey. I will keep updating with my drawings on Instagram and other types of social media as well."

Checkout Go61in and his amazing work!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

GZA Gives Wu-Tang Clan First Platinum Album In More Than A Decade

(Photo by Fergus McDonald/Getty Images)

It may have taken nearly twenty years, but a heralded hip-hop classic has finally caught up saleswise to its platinum reputation. Yesterday, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that Liquid Swords, the sophomore album from the New York City rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, had officially crossed the threshold of one million units sold as of September 15th.

As one of the best known and most respected hip-hop groups ever, the Wu-Tang Clan are no strangers to gold records and platinum plaques. Several of their albums, as well as the solo efforts of its multiple lyrically adept members, have sold at RIAA award levels. Yet the group’s last certifications came in 2004, with a gold nod to Method Man’s Tical 0: The Prequel and a platinum one for Ghostface Killah’s Ironman, thus making Liquid Swords the first Wu-Tang Clan project to reach RIAA platinum status in more than a decade.

Born Gary Grice, GZA’s rap career precedes his involvement in the Wu-Tang Clan. In 1991, he released an album for seminal rap label Cold Chillin’ Records under the moniker The Genius. While the album failed to catapult him into stardom, he retained that name in a hybridized form (Genius/GZA) for his next effort, released two years after the group’s platinum selling Loud Records debut Enter The Wu-Tang. First released in November of 1995, Liquid Swords peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 album charts and was certified gold the following January. It capped off an impressive year of solo wins from his fellow Clansmen, including gold awards for Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return To The 36 Chambers and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, as well as a platinum one for Method Man’s Tical.

GZA’s follow-up Beneath The Surface went gold in 1999. Like 1995, it was a banner year for Wu-Tang Clan in terms of RIAA awards, with gold status for new albums from Ol’ Dirty Bastard (N**** Please), Raekwon (Immobilarity), and RZA (Bobby Digital In Stereo) in addition to GZA. The certifications continued on the other side of the millennium, with platinum plaques for the group’s third full-length The W and Method Man’s collaborative Blackout album with New Jersey native Redman, both honored in 2000. That same year, Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele went gold within a month of its release. The group’s fourth outing, 2001′s Iron Flag, did so as well.
Though it doesn’t match the Wu-Tang Clan’s sales king, the quadruple platinum Wu-Tang Forever, GZA’s Liquid Swords remains one a favorite among hip-hop fans and critics alike. Featuring a dozen beats from producer RZA, the album proved a logical extension of the group’s signature sound, blending samples from old kung fu movies and dusty records into gritty albeit robust instrumentals designed to support GZA’s dextrous wordplay. Arguably the Wu-Tang Clan’s most verbose emcee, GZA graciously shares the mic here with each of the group’s members, making for rap classics like “4th Chamber” and “Shadowboxin’.”

[via FORBES]