In a former life, for a brief time, I played hip-hop on what was then New York’s leading station for hip-hop and R n’B!

It did seem quite unusual at the time, but the station was going through a transformation, and I was caught in the middle of what were a couple of different “cultures” - as it were.

But during that transitional time, I did learn to appreciate some of the music – just as I learned to appreciate and come to love country music while having played it at yet another radio station.

That’s the way it works – you can’t help but be swayed by the influence of the music.

Let me just throw a title out there who’s work in the hip hop realm I’ve enjoyed.

A Tribe Called Quest.

“Electric Relaxation” and “Award Tour” are still a couple of my favorite tracks. Can’t say why - other than perhaps because it’s due to the samples of some jazz tracks; or because of the raw quality of the recordings themselves that hooked me.

The reason I bring it up is the ambitious effort by the Wu-Tang Clan to sell one copy and one copy only of their 31 track album, ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.’ Right now the album, according to the New York Daily News which quotes an article by Forbes, is "currently sitting inside a vault in the mountains of Marrakech, Morocco.”

A bit egotistical, you say.

That could be considered an accurate statement by some.
According to the story:


The hip-hop collective revealed they've secretly been working on an epic 31-track album for six years. But only one lucky — and wealthy — Wu-Tang fan is going to own it.
"We're about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before," RZA, whose real name is Robert Diggs, told Forbes magazine.

"We're about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of (modern) music. We're making a single-sale collector's item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king."


The new album entitled "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" is so valuable, it is being hidden away in secrecy, locked in a vault somewhere, in the mountains of Morocco, according to the report. Members of Wu-Tang went on to discuss touring and what the chances of selling one single album may bring.

RZA, who is the first of the group to speak about the secret project, also revealed Wu-Tang plans to take the lone album "on tour" before it's sold.

The price for the album could eventually be "in the millions," he told the magazine.
"I know it sounds crazy," Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh, the album's main producer, told Forbes.

"It might totally flop, and we might be completely ridiculed. But the essence and core of our ideas is to inspire creation and originality and debate, and save the music album from dying."

That, in and of itself, is a laudable goal – to save the music album from dying.

iTunes may already have seen to have hastened its demise.

Yet, given how this work is being touted as a masterpiece (which is truly a matter of taste); as a fan of hip-hop, what would you consider the best hip-hop album of all time?

I would ordinarily provide you with a few choices, but I’m sure it would be incomplete, and that’s why I bow to you to give your choice – or choices.