Earlier this year, someone paid “millions” to own the one-and-only copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The 31-track double album, which can’t be sold commercially for 88 years, came in a “hand-carved box, accompanied by a leather-bound book with 174 pages of parchment paper filled with lyrics and background on the songs,” according to Bloomberg. Whoever bought the thing wasn’t doing it for the music, man; they wanted to have, to quote RZA’s comparison, “the scepter of an Egyptian king.”
No wonder the mystery winner was the Internet’s number-one enemy.
You’re forgiven if you can’t remember why you know the name Martin Shkreli. He was, like, 73 Internet controversies ago, but Shkreli’s the pharma douche who raised “the price of an essential drug used to treat AIDS and cancer patients (Daraprim) by 5,000%, from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill overnight and without warning.” He’s also the proud owner of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (as well as Kurt Cobain’s VISA card, which he reportedly uses to “get a rise out of people”), after attending a private listening party in New York.
Shocking that it went to a white guy who’s trying to look cool.
Having participated in bidding wars for companies and drugs, Shkreli says he had a feeling from the start that he’d made the highest offer for Shaolin. As it turned out, he was right. Shkreli won’t say how much he paid. But someone familiar with the deal says that the Wu-Tang Clan sold him the album for $2 million. (Via)
The transaction happened in May, “well before [Shkreli’s] business practices came to light,” RZA said in a statement. “We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.” They don’t want Shkreli’s dirty money.
Well, not all of it, at least.