Wu-Tang's 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' Bought by Pharma Bad Boy Martin Shkreli
Published Dec 09, 2015At the beginning of the year, Wu-Tang Clan announced that they would be releasing a one-of-a-kind album called Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The extremely limited edition double LP — complete with a hand-carved box, leather-bound book and $55,000 speakers, all kept stored away safely in Morocco — was put up for auction with a stipulation stating that it couldn't commercially released for at least 88 years. At that point, the copyright would be automatically transferred to the work's owner and said owner could make the choice whether or not to release it commercially.
Well, the ridiculous record was recently bought and it has now been revealed by Bloomberg that it was purchased by none other than Martin Shkreli. If the name rings a bell, it's probably because you recognize him as the publicly disgraced CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Earlier this year, he raked in tons of terrible press for raising the cost of Daraprim — a drug used in the treatment of AIDS and cancer patients — from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet. Overnight.
Now, he's purchased the sole copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for a price in the $2 million range. Wu-Tang claim that the transaction began before Shkreli's business practices drew public ire, with RZA stating that since learning about the price gouging, he has "decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity."
If you thought Shkreli cared about what Wu-Tang fans might think about him purchasing the rarity, think again. "At the end of the day, they didn't buy the last album or the one before that," he said, speaking to Bloomberg. "And all they had to pay was $10."
He went on to reveal that he hadn't yet ripped the record out of its more-than-deluxe packaging to actually hear the thing. "I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that," he said. "But for now, I think I'm going to kind of save it for a rainy day."
Now, the villainous music collector has taken to Twitter, asking for suggestions as to which artist he should next approach for a private album. Keeping it classy, he added: "If there is a curious gap in your favorite artist's discography, well, now you know why."
If there is a curious gap in your favorite artist's discography, well, now you know why.— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) December 9, 2015
He also posted a link to a livestream in which he talks about "music, drugs and stuff" teasing viewers with a hint that he "may play something special."
Live streaming. Talking music, drugs and stuff. May play something special. https://t.co/Ez8X7Bon7v— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) December 9, 2015
During the livestream, he revealed a spreadsheet draft of potential artists he'd like to purchase private albums from, including Kanye, Prince, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift.