The latest of several major musicians to experiment with album releases, legendary rap crew Wu-Tang Clan is releasing eight songs from their newest album pre-loaded onto a Bluetooth speaker.
Wu-Tang Clan’s 20th anniversary album A Better Tomorrow will see a limited release on customized Bluetooth speakers. The 3,000 unit run will retail for $79.99; a steep price, but one that producer RZA hopes will continue an ongoing discussion about the modern musician’s value as an artist “in a profoundly saturated market.”
The speaker is fully functional, and can stream other songs through Bluetooth-compatible devices. It was chosen by the group for its portability and ruggedness, qualities that remind super-producer RZA of his old Walkman unit.
“There’s something transcendent about being able to physically hold music,” said RZA in a press release. “Back in the day, holding a vinyl helped you appreciate just how much time and sweat goes into creating a single track, let alone an entire album. Over the last decade, we’ve lost that sensation. With this project, we hope to strengthen the bond between fan and artist.”
This is actually Wu-Tang Clan’s second unconventional album release in a year, following their ambitious plan to sell only one copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $5 million. 2014 has seen major artists such as Beyoncé, Thom Yorke, and U2 experiment with ways to monetize their album releases in the face of audio streaming services like Spotify.
A Better Tomorrow will be released on Black Friday (11/28), and will not be available to download.