Wu Tang has a history of innovation, as the group was founded as a loose affiliation of artists, who always intended to use the Wu Tang name to advance their personal careers. Unsurprisingly, the man behind that original idea. RZA, is also behind this new innovation.
What is fascinating is his conscious understanding of this as an attempt to do a number of different things:
1. Create scarcity where there is none.
2. Reintroduce music as an "art", not a commodity.
3. Develop a new revenue stream.
Following on the heels of Jay Z who found a corporate buyer in Samsung, Wu Tang is going one step further and selling one copy of the album after the album has "toured" for millions of dollars. What remains unclear is why they would give us copyright, as the Forbes article indicates that they are comfortable with allowing the purchaser releasing the album for free to the entire world. While this would not compromise their profit, RZA's greater goal of identifying music as art would be compromised, as he clearly recognizes the problem that music "doesn’t receive the same treatment as art in the sense of the value of what it is, especially nowadays when it’s been devalued and diminished to almost the point that it has to be given away for free."
While I personally think of Wu Tang as low art, I also applaud their efforts to think outside the box in an attempt to deal with the devaluing of art in the age of digital commodities.