With music-streaming sites and internet piracy continuing to cut into traditional album sales, hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan has returned to the lab in a fresh attempt to pioneer new ways of selling their work.
Having made just one copy of album The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin (which, last we heard, was being kept in a Moroccan vault as the clan await a multi-million dollar offer), their latest venture is to embed several songs from upcoming record A Better Tomorrow into a wireless Bluetooth speaker.
The 'Boombot REX – 20th Anniversary Wu-Tang Edition' will play eight songs which, according to Boombotix CEO Lief Storer, required an entire redesign as regular versions of the speaker don't have built in flash memory or a file management system.
"The time was tight and the task was tricky. We had to rethink our firmware and hardware to accommodate the new features," wrote Storer.
Two weeks in advance
Only 3,000 Wu speakers will be produced and the product goes on sale on November 15th – almost two whole weeks before the stand-alone album's release date.
"There's something transcendent about being able to physically hold music," said Wu-Tang leader The RZA.
"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. Boombotix puts the music back in your hands so you can stay connected to your favorite artists wherever you go."
Fans won't be limited to playing Wu-Tang tracks as the Boombot REX will also function as a normal bluetooth speaker.