Wu-Tang Clan had high hopes when they created only one copy of their exclusive album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which was meant to be auctioned off and barred from commercial sale for 88 years. But things didn’t quite go according to plan when currently imprisoned “Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli bought the LP before going to jail for several counts of fraud. RZA now admits that selling Shkreli the album was a mistake, but his original vision for Once Upon A Time In Shaolin could still come true after all.
RZA recently sat down for an interview on Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning radio show, where he discussed selling the album to Shkreli and said it definitely “was in the wrong hands.”
The rapper explained he met with Shkreli before selling him the album, but that was before his true character was revealed. “The thing that’s powerful about it now is, now that it’s out of our hands, no disrespect to Martin Shkreli, because I don’t never knock somebody who bought something,” he said. “But it was in the wrong hands in reality. He made the deal before it was revealed of his character, his personality, and all the insidious things he would go on to do. That wasn’t the guy that I met. He definitely unfolded into that guy. He had control of this one-of-a-kind piece of art, and I could see it was in the wrong hands. But still, it was a sale and I can’t complain about who we sell it to. Everybody’s got a right to buy something that’s for sale.”
The government has now sold Once Upon A Time In Shaolin to NFT organization PleasrDAO in order pay off the $7.4 million forfeiture judgment against Shkreli at the time of his conviction. RZA believes that the album is now in the “right hands” after meeting with the person behind PleasrDAO, saying his original vision for the album could still become a reality:
“But now, I think it’s in the right hands. I’m hoping that it is in the right hands. I spoke to the gentleman who’s leading the way and he just seems to have more of a Wu vibe about him. Wu is a vibe and I strive to say it’s a vibe of positivity, even with the aggression. […] There were some original ideas that we wanted to do with this album. A lot of beautiful ideas that wasn’t disclosed to the public, and I won’t disclose them now, but those ideas were not able to happen with Mr. Shkreli. Now that PleasrDAO has it, there’s an opportunity for a lot of these beautiful ideas of what this art can be and how it can expand itself in the world.”
Watch RZA’s full interview with Ebro In The Morning above.