PleasrDAO buys Wu-Tang Clan’s one-of-one album for $4m

PleasrDAO mints the album ownership deed as an NFT

Wu-Tang Clan band members attend Tribeca TV Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Of Mics And Men’ at Beacon Theatre                                 
Wu-Tang Clan band members attend Tribeca TV Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Of Mics And Men’ at Beacon Theatre – Photo: Shutterstock

PleasrDAO, a collective of decentralised finance (DeFi) leaders, early non-fungible token (NFT) collectors and digital artists, has stated that it bought the only copy ever made of Wu-Tang Clan’s unreleased album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin as an NFT.

The 74 members of the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) now share collective ownership of the one-of-a-kind album.

Although their intentions for the album have not yet been stated, they have minted the ownership deed of the album as an NFT. Also, as it states in DAO’s Twitter bio, they own the original Doge meme of Dogecoin, which they have turned into an NFT.

PleasrDAO, who changed their Twitter handle to PleasrCLAN following the purchase of the album, bought the album from the US federal government for $4m (£2.9m, €3.4m) in July this year, in crypto.

As the US government does not accept crypto as a fiat currency, the purchase took place through an intermediary. 

Jamis Johnson, chief pleasing officer at PleasrDAO, wrote in a blog post that: “There is no more storied, iconic and historic piece of physical music on Earth than the single copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s unreleased album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

“After nearly a decade under wraps and in private hands, PleasrDAO purchased the complete album, with plans to oversee and fulfil Wu’s original vision. Bring da motherf**kin' ruckus.”

Government-owned album after arrest of owner

When the only-ever copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was first released, Martin Shkreli bought it for $2m. However, following his conviction of securities fraud in 2017, the album came into the US government’s possession as Shkreli’s assets were seized.   

The album was originally created due to Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA’s concerns regarding piracy and digital streaming, which he believes cheapens the value of music.

PleasrDAO have said: “Philosophically, Wu-Tang Clan is the OG DAO: a collective formed to reach beyond the limits of any single individual; collaborative in nature to fulfill a higher purpose, yet allowing  each individual member sovereign freedom to act on their own accord.” The group believes decentralisation and Web 3.0 can help to address the issues the band was worried about.  

As Johnson wrote: “The Wu-Tang clan’s protest middleman overlords were prescient of the problems to come with the Web 2.0 streaming era, an industry that profits by standing between artist and fan, siphoning off profits and leaving creatives hanging out to dry, heart and souls stolen from the page. Decentralisation and Web 3.0, at its core, addresses this head on.

“The primary objective of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is to enable one-to-one transfer of ownership and the creation of value without middlemen and centralised rent-seeking institutions.”

Cilvaringz, producer and conceptualiser of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin at the time of the album’s release, said: “The single-copy concept’s primary intention was to incentivise a debate about the perception of music as an art form, and how its monetary and experiential values were being smothered by digitisation.

“Seven years later, the NFT suddenly achieved to secure these values. At the very least, this album has encouraged the journey towards this solution for digitisable art forms.”

Snoop Dogg, cryptos and NFTs

Meanwhile, in September, Snoop Dogg (real name Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr) tweeted that he is the person behind Cozomo de’ Medici – a popular NFT Twitter channel.

The new Twitter profile was only created in August 2021, but it has already amassed 91,600 followers. The account’s Twitter bio reads: “Sharing tales & insights from the wild world of NFTs”.

Snoop Dogg is not new to the NFT space as he launched his own NFTs on in April this year. The rapper’s first NFT was titled A Journey with the Dogg.

The collection represents Snoop Dogg’s memories from his early years with art, inspired by the NFT movement and a track called NFT.

At the time, Snoop Dogg said about his NFTs: “I've seen the game change over the years from analogue to digital, and I'm always happier when the technology lets the fans get to connect with the artists.

“NFTs are an amazing innovation, and it is an honour to do my first drop with"

Further reading: Singer Jason Derulo tweets out he bought the crypto solana

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