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Reviewing 51 Seconds of the Million-Dollar Wu-Tang Clan Album

The Wu-Tang Clan’s upcoming 31-song epic Once Upon a Time in Shaolin won’t be sold in stores, online, or anywhere else. They’ve pressed exactly one copy, planning to charge people to listen to it inside a museum of their choosing. They then’ll sell that one copy to whoever’s willing to cough up the funds. The current high bid is $5 million, so if there’s a hardcore Wu-Tang fan on your Christmas list, you better sell a fuckton of lemonade this summer.

Naturally, everyone wants to know what the fuck a “museum,” is. They also want to know what the record sounds like. Such a goofy gimmick deserves an appropriately goofy round of experimentation — maybe they secretly kept Ol’ Dirty Bastard alive in a block of ice so he could spit some bars before retiring back to his chilly chamber. That could be worth a spin or two at the Louvre.

“Verily, I doth declare this to beith bangin’ shit, ye.”

Luckily for us, Forbes Magazine has the answer, recently unveiling a 51-second snippit featuring Ghostface Killah. It … sure is a song. We start with 15 seconds of random sounds from a random street — no rapping, no music, not even any cursing. And then we waste another five seconds at the end with Killah reminding us that he is, in fact, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

So 40% of our teaser track is pure bullshit, like sitting down to enjoy a filet mignon only to find half of it covered in mold. But what of the other 60%? If Ghostface kill(ah)s it for 30 seconds and reinvents hip-hop as we know it, then clearly that makes the filler all worth it.

Yeah, no. He didn’t reinvent shit. Yes, Killah raps about as well as we’d come to expect, and the lady belting soulfully in the background sounds lovely as well, even though she’s basically belting over nothing. It’s apropos though, because “nothing” is exactly what Killa raps about. “I slay (word my white ass can’t say), cough up blood when they hiccup / cover they stomach, coming back from a stick-up.” So Killah robbed a bank, shot some fool, and said fool is now bleeding to death. How original. The rest of the clip doesn’t have much more to say, except that “It’s a hundred thousand for the four of us,” meaning half the Clan didn’t get shit from the stick-up. C’mon Killa, spread the wealth a tad. Help the needy.

U-God’s at least three months behind on his electric bill.

At the very least, Axl Rose introduced some unique industrial sounds while making us wait 15 years for Chinese Democracy. This, though? It’s the same basic music you hear on any Wu-Tang album. It’s good, but not worth the wait or the hype. Maybe once whoever buys the album inevitably uploads it to Pirate Bay and every kid on the planet can get their hands on it, we’ll deem the other 30.8 songs positively Earth-shattering. Based on what we’ve been given though, just save your lemonade money for something else. Wu-Tang album ain’t nothin’ to fuckin’ bother with.

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