In 2015 Wu-Tang Clan auctioned a one-of-a-kind album dubbed Once Upon a Time In Shaolin, which was purchased by now-convicted felon Martin Shkreli. The disgraced pharma-villain was then forced to forfeit the album to the US government back in 2017 is a seizure of his various assets. Then, as of July of 2021, the album was bought from the government and sold to an undisclosed buyer. Peter Scoolidge, the lawyer representing the second purchaser of the album, revealed that the new owners would go public within the following months, and now at long last, they finally have. The official owner of Once Upon a Time has been revealed to be PleasrDAO—a collective group dedicated to buying digital collectables and portioning out NFTs to multiple digital owners rather than just one physical owner.
Now that the world knows who owns the sole copy of the silver-encased mystery album, though the question remains, what now? With limitations placed upon the sole copy of the LP that ensure tight security on who can simply even listen to the album for the next 88 years, it’s currently ambiguous what PleasrDAO will do with their newfound asset. With ultimate altruistic hopes of getting the album out to the Wu-Tang fans of the world, a spokesperson for 6, the agency that brokered the deal, says that the plan is to get crafty. 6 co-founder Jesse Grushack tells cryptocurrency outlet Coindesk that, “Theoretically, [PleasrDAO] could have 5,000 owners of the album and make a private listening party for those owners.”
Purchased by the collective for cool $4 million, Once Upon A Time‘s collision with the NFT space feels incredibly fitting, considering the album is a one-of-a-kind appreciating artistic asset; an original NFT of sorts, before the term exploded into the mainstream this year. What happens to the LP now is up in the air, but PleasrDAO’s purchase signals that perhaps more people will come to hear the Wu-Tang’s singular opus than previously expected.
Featured image: New York Times