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Hit It! Wu-Tang Clan, Plus Tops On World Music Charts

Below are some of the songs currently topping the charts around the world.

Worldcrunch Pick

"We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king." This is how Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, in an interview with Forbes, described the hip-hop collective's surprise new album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which was recorded in complete secrecy over the past six years.

This double album special is a bonafide musical event: not only has it reunited the whole group, includes a total of 31 90s-style Wu-Tang Clan tracks, and even features special guest appearances by FC Barcelona soccer players. But what really sets it apart is that the album will be purchasable by just one single individual in the world.

The lucky (and probably wealthy) buyer will obtain the following luxurious engraved silver-and-nickel box, which was handcrafted ovet the course of three months by the British Moroccan artist Yahya.

Photo: via scluzay.com

Although the release date has not been announced yet, the price for Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is already expected to reach millions. “We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” RZA told Forbes.

Because Wu-Tang Clan's aim, before anything else according to Ezclziv, the "world’s first private music service" promoting the album, is to reconsider music as art. "Is exclusivity versus mass replication really the $50 million difference between a microphone and a paintbrush? Is contemporary art overvalued in an exclusive market, or are musicians undervalued in a profoundly saturated market?" RZA and his fellow rapper Cilvaringz ask.

To answer these questions, the album will first be exhibited in museums, festivals and galleries across the world before the sale in question. Venues have not been confirmed yet either, but Cilvaringz has already mentionned the Tate Modern.

Meanwhile, another Wu-Tang Clan album, A Better Tomorrow, is set to be released this year, celebrating the collective's 20th anniversary. The work has been delayed several times since its annoucement in 2011, but it will add to what will surely be a significant year for the Wu-Tang.

Until the lucky owner of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin inadvertently leaks the content of the magic box, here is the Wu-Tang's "Keep Watch", from A Better Tomorrow.

Cover photo: Wu-Tang Clan perform at the Coachella Festival in April 2013. Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun/ZUMA

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War In Ukraine, Day 279: New Kherson Horrors More Than Two Weeks After Russian Withdrawal

Shelling in Kherson

Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

While retreating from Kherson, Russian troops forcibly removed more than 2,500 Ukrainians from prison colonies and pre-trial detention centers in the southern region. Those removed included prisoners as well as a large number of civilians who had been held in prisons during the occupation, according to the Ukrainian human rights organization Alliance of Ukrainian Unity.

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The NGO said it has evidence that these Ukrainians were first transferred to Crimea and then distributed to different prisons in Russia. During the transfer of the prisoners, Russian soldiers also reportedly stole valuables and food and mined the building of colony #61.

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