At the end of November, Wu-Tang's one-of-a-kind album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, sold at online auction Paddle8 to an undisclosed person for an undisclosed amount of millions. For some reason a lot of people thought that the mysterious buyer was eccentric film director Quentin Tarantino, but, nay, because the world we live in is a terrible place filled with terrible people. Terrible people who do terrible things like jack up the cost of AIDS medications exponentially and swoop in from the misty corners of hell to buy priceless albums for millions of dollars, just because they can. Terrible people like hedge fund manager and pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, who has just been revealed to be the actual new owner of this album, which is probably sitting on a shelf somewhere in his evil lair at this very moment.
According to a lengthy report by Bloomberg on the matter, Shkreli's interest in owning the 31-track album encased in a hand carved box also containing a leather bound book filled with parchment paper beautifully detailing the back story of the album, happened organically enough. Shkreli grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and claims to have been a fan of rap music from an early age; since making his millions in pharma, he's spent some of it on adding to his growing collection of music memorabilia. He previously purchased a Visa card once belonging to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and once joked about buying a guitar of Katy Perry's in order to get a date with the singer. (Gross.)
Following the sale of the album to Shkreli, both Paddle8 and members of Wu-Tang were wary of revealing the name of the new owner publicly because, well, because of obvious reasons. RZA has since released the following statement:
"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.”
Shkreli hasn't listened to the album yet, but in a chilling quote to Bloomberg says: “I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that. But for now, I think I’m going to kind of save it for a rainy day.”