Tags: martin shkreli | daraprim | wu tang clan

Martin Shkreli, Blamed in Pharma Flap, Also Owner of Rare Wu-Tang Album

Image: Martin Shkreli, Blamed in Pharma Flap, Also Owner of Rare Wu-Tang Album
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By    |   Thursday, 10 Dec 2015 02:00 PM

Martin Shkreli, the Wall Street wunderkind decried for buying and raising the price of the pharmaceutical drug Daraprim, is also reportedly the owner of the world's only copy of "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," a rap album by Wu-Tang Clan.

According to Bloomberg News, Wu-Tang intentionally created only a single copy of the album, and sold it at a private auction for $2 million earlier this year.

The album itself contains a reported 31 tracks — at least one of which features the singer Cher — comes in a hand-carved box, and is accompanied by a leather bound book that comprises 174 pages of parchment paper containing notes about the songs.

During the initial publicity push for the album and its imminent sale, producer, rapper, and project leader RZA explained that whoever bought the album was allowed to do whatever they wished with it, so long as they didn't sell it commercially.

"We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like someone having the scepter of an Egyptian king," RZA told the press.

Now that Shkreli, a divisive figure criticized by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, has been revealed as the owner, it appears the rap group has tried to distance itself from him.

"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," group member RZA said in an emailed statement.

Shkreli, 32, was reportedly interesting in purchasing the album because he is a rap fan, but also because he knew he could offer private listening sessions that would allow him to hang out with celebrities. He hasn't listened to the full album yet, saying he's waiting for the right moment in his life.

"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."

As for the Daraprim controversy, he told Bloomberg, "What’s escaped the conversation is, hey, how about the fact that this is actually what I’ve been hired to do," as CEO of Turing, he said. "It’s like someone criticizing a basketball player for scoring too many points."

He added that he has made efforts to make the drug easier for hospitals to obtain.

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Martin Shkreli, the Wall Street wunderkind decried for buying and raising the price of the pharmaceutical drug Daraprim, is also reportedly the owner of the world's only copy of "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," a rap album by Wu-Tang Clan.
martin shkreli, daraprim, wu tang clan
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2015-00-10
Thursday, 10 Dec 2015 02:00 PM
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