Once Upon a Time in Shaolin
The Wu is trying to use a secret double album to be "a springboard for the reconsideration of music as art". The hope is that it will conceptually help restore music to a place alongside great visual works. Not a bad idea but I'm guessing that they're also banking that somebody will value their work enough to purchase. It's a smart idea, but it's tough to place a value on subjective works tastes.
Making an extremely premium item may work. But I see one-of-a-kind items increase in value over an extended amount of time when a historical lens has been applied. I guess you could say there are many one-of-a-kind items on Etsy. It's going to be a tough challenge. Nonetheless, still an interesting spectacle to watch.
“The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for years,” says RZA. “And yet its 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.”
Radiohead did the opposite in 2008 (it was more of "pay if you like it") and NIN followed up with a totally free album. Also, it'll be strange when somebody like Katy Perry or Justin Bieber pulls the same stunt.