Pharma Douchebro Martin Shkreli Buys Only Copy Of Wu-Tang Clan’s New, Secret Album
Like a plot twist in some weird stoner-buddy comedy, Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli continues to demonstrate just how awful he really, really is. After rapidly rising to infamy as the man who raised the prices of anti-parasitic drug Daraprim and later faced a lawsuit for stalking and harassing an ex-coworker’s family, Shkreli decided that he wasn’t quite enough of a movie villain and bought the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s latest album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, for a cool $2 million.
Bloomberg has the story of how this came to be. Shkreli outbid everyone else for the record, which was stored in a vault in Morocco until its auction through Paddle8 in November. Wu-Tang’s original intentions in making the album was to create a one-of-a-kind collector’s item, like “someone having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”
Initially, the Clan wanted to forbid the buyer from publicly releasing the album for 88 years, but over time decided to grant the buyer total freedom as long as the album wasn’t sold commercially. That meant the owner could listen to the record in a soundproof room, drive a pickup truck over it, or release it for free on the Internet. If the owner desired, he could be the only one who ever heard it.
The identity of the buyer was kept secret until now and it only seems fitting that it was Shkreli who walked away with this thing. According to Bloomberg, Shkreli fancies himself a bit of a music collector.
He once joked on Twitter about trying to buy Katy Perry’s guitar so he could get a date with her. He purchased Kurt Cobain’s Visa card in a Paddle8 auction and occasionally produces it to get a rise out of people when it’s time to pay a check.
Shkreli heard about Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and thought it would be nice to own, too. He attended a private listening session at the Standard Hotel hosted by Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes. Shkreli, who describes himself as a bit of a recluse, recalls Gilkes telling him that if he bought the record, he would have the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities and rappers who would want to hear it. “Then I really became convinced that I should be the buyer,” Shkreli says.
Shkreli hasn’t yet listened to the album, and is saving it for a time when he’s “feeling low and needs something to lift his spirits.” He did, however, say that he “could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that,” which is a pretty bad attempt at spitting game via an incredulous Bloomberg article, but that’s neither here nor there.
Wu-Tang, for what it’s worth, released a statement to Bloomberg, saying, “The sale of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was agreed upon in May, well before Martin Skhreli’s [sic] business practices came to light. We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.”
At least there’s that?