AIDS Pill Villain Martin Shkreli Backs Bobby Shmurda, Gets Arrested for Stock Fraud
Published Dec 16, 2015If the music world had one diabolical supervillain in 2015, it was most certainly AIDS pill price-gouger Martin Shkreli. The drug pusher who raised the price of AIDS medication Daraprim from $13 to $750 per pill was all over the place, from the emo and indie rock world to the land of hip-hop headlines.
It was first revealed that he was secretly funding Geoff Rickly's Collect Records, but the two parties split up after Shkreli's business practices came to light. Then, last week, it was revealed that Shkreli purchased the Wu-Tang Clan's coveted Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album for $2 million. Up next? It looks like Shkreli wants to bail out Bobby Shmurda.
Shmurda was arrested in a drug sting exactly one year ago and has since been denied bail numerous times. In an interview with HipHopDX on Monday (December 14) that was published today (December 16), Shkreli shared his plans with a lengthy statement:
We're actually in discussion to try to bail out Bobby Shmurda. Forget whether you think he's guilty or not, the guy should not be sitting in jail right now. It's insane. He's from Brooklyn. I'm from Brooklyn. He deserves a fair trial. He deserves good lawyers. He doesn't have good lawyers. His label is hanging him out to dry and so I have a conference call tomorrow morning with them (December 15). I'll show up with $2 million bail money no fucking problem. He's not going to flee the country. I'm not going to lose anything. I'm going to try to make that happen. That's one thing I'm working on.
That said, like anything in the business world, he says the bailing out of Bobby Shmurda will come at a cost:
I'm a fan and I'm a business man. I'm not going to do this for free. [Laughs] He's going to have to do something for me. I don't know what that's going to look like yet. He's going to owe me one, obviously. I'd like to pay for his legal defense as well. I'm a big fan but also I'm an opportunist. You know that. I see an opportunity here. He's a talented guy. Every concert I go to, people yell "Free Shmurda." He reminds me of me, quite frankly. The guy's totally irreverent. He doesn't give a damn what people think. Totally irreverent. Totally I don't give a fuck. I love him. I just love that style. He's from not far from where I'm from in Brooklyn. I'd love to help him out. I wish someone would have helped me out when I needed help. He doesn't have much money, I know that. He's definitely hurting for money. He needs a bailout, basically. I'd like to help him out. No big promises, but I'll see what I can do. Like I said, if I can post the $2 million, I'd do it tomorrow. I'm working on it and hopefully we'll see him free soon.
Maybe he'll force Bobby Shmurda to create the Shkreli Dance? Either way, Martin Shkreli also said he's not as different from Bobby Shmurda as you might think. Referencing the time he threatened a man's life over a bad business deal, he shared the following statement:
There's a little "Shmurda" in me, too. People that know me know that there's a little Bobby-equivalent in my blood, too. That comes from growing up on the edge of the hood, I would say. I've had guns pointed at me. I've had tons of that shit happen. I know that world. Not knee deep, but know it enough to know what it is. I'm definitely the real fucking deal.
UPDATE (12/17, 8:30 a.m.): Maybe there really is a little Shmurda in him, too. Shkreli has found himself in legal hot water and was arrested at his home in Manhattan this morning in a securities fraud case. He has been charged with illegally using stock from a biotech firm he started in 2011 called Retrophin Inc. to pay off debts related to his defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management. Find the full report here, via Bloomberg.
Elsewhere in the interview, Shkreli discusses his frustrations with the way RZA has been speaking about him since he purchased the Wu-Tang album. He also opens up about his take on the Ghostface Killah/Action Bronson beef. Read the full thing here.