Hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan sold only one, expensive copy of their album, Once Upon A Time in Shaolin. This exemplifies recent strategies by popular music artists to establish their work as art, with what Walter Benjamin calls ‘aura’, in response to the accessibility and dematerialisation enabled by digital technology as well as longstanding cultural condescension. Critics argue that popular music should not be restricted but shared, with digital technology increasing opportunities for shared consumption. This article considers the fate of music's aura in the age of mechanical reproduction, arguing that it does not disappear but is dispersed and diversified. The digital acceleration of mass reproduction has drawn mixed responses from artists, fans and commentators, and Shaolin and similar projects show how the separation of music from its physical commodity form has brought renewed attention to perennial tensions between the popular, artistic and commercial aspects of popular music.