Perhaps the most influential hip-hop group of all time, Wu-Tang Clan, has recorded a brand new double-album in secret - and its release model could be set to revolutionise the music business forever.
A silver and nickel box crafted by Yahya, somewhere in the outskirts of Marrakech houses the singular copy of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, an album years in the making and recorded totally in secret, potentially the only copy that will ever exist. Rather than the usual recording process this one item will embark on a ticketed listening tour before being put up for purchase - adding an air of mystery and pre-release hype unattainable through marketing money alone. Whether it's bought by a major label or a single wealthy individual remains to be seen, but what's certain is the price tag will be in the multi-millions - if not more.
The album's producer, Tarik 'Cilvaringz' Azzougarh, a protégé of sorts to The RZA, conceded to Forbes just one leak could nullify the entire concept. This is why although no dates or venues have yet been confirmed, it's more than likely a heavy handed security presence will be in place to prevent an early leak.
It will be interesting to see how the concept plays out: in any case, it's a bold move that seeks to re-commodify music as tangible art, something that critics of the open web will assert has diminished with the proliferation of streaming services, and downloads, whether legal or illegal.