And Finally Artist News

Martin Shkreli puts secret Wu-Tang album up for sale on eBay

By | Published on Thursday 7 September 2017

Ghostface Killah / Martin Shkreli

Two years after spending $2 million on Wu-Tang Clan’s single-copy album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’, Martin Shkreli has decided to sell it. In a little over a week it’ll go to the highest bidder on eBay, unless he decides to smash it first instead.

As previously reported, having pressed just one copy of the record, the hip hop group put it up for sale by auction. A sale was agreed in May 2015, and it later emerged that Shkreli – best known for buying the rights to a life-saving AIDS drug and massively increasing the price – was its new owner.

The news of this prompted Wu-Tang leader RZA to issue a statement saying that the group had no idea Shkreli was such a bell end when they agreed the sale. Shkreli later became involved in a bizarre war of words with Ghostface Killah, the rapper employing the never improved upon phrase “I’ll break your heart in four days” in his barrage of insults.

Oh and there’s so much more in the saga of this album – largely because Shkreli is an insatiable self-publicist. Which I guess brings us to this eBay auction.

“I decided to purchase this album as a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan for their tremendous musical output”, writes Shkreli in the listing. “Instead I received scorn from at least one of their (least intelligent) members, and the world at large failed to see my purpose of putting a serious value behind music. I will be curious to see if the world values music nearly as much as I have. I have donated to many rock bands and rappers over the years to ensure they can continue to produce their art when few others would”.

Yes, there was that time it turned out that Shkreli had funded the growth of punk and hardcore label Collect Records, prompting several of its bands to threaten to terminate their contracts.

Shkreli is not a man to be toyed with though. He continues: “At any time I may cancel this sale and I may even break this album in frustration. I will donate half of the sale proceeds to medical research. I am not selling to raise cash – my companies and I have record amounts of cash on hand. I hope someone with a bigger heart for music can be found for this one-of-a-kind piece and makes it available for the world to hear”.

Upon selling the album, Shkreli says that he will destroy any copies he has made and pay legal costs of up to $25,000 for the buyer. So that’s nice.

Shkreli was recently convicted of fraud in New York and is currently awaiting sentencing. As previously reported, recently released court documents showed that there were some problems finding impartial jurors to hear the case.

Potential jurors were rejected on a number of grounds. One after saying “I’m aware of the defendant and I hate him”, one because they thought Shkreli was “the face of corporate greed in America”, one simply because “he kind of looks like a dick”, and another because he “disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan”.

Whether this latest move is disrespectful to the Wu-Tang is still up for debate. Bidding for the record has already topped $1 million with more than a week to go. Though I’m not sure I would count on those bidding actually intending to pay up. Still, if you got a few spare quid you don’t know what to do with, you could throw it into the ring here.