It’s entirely possible that Martin Shkreli forgot to read the small print when he paid a reported $2m for the only copy of Wu Tang Clan’s latest album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
The legendary hip-hop group’s album comes with a leather-bound 174-page book of lyrics and background information on the songs. It was auctioned online and finally purchased by Shkreli, a pharmaceutical executive who, the same month, was heavily criticised when it emerged that his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, had bought an anti-HIV drug called Daraprim and hiked the price of each pill up from $13.50 to $750. So, the guy withholding the only copy of an album millions of people want to hear turned out to be a complete dickhead. Who knew?
Since hearing about the Daraprim controversy, Wu Tang head honcho RZA has pledged to donate a “significant portion” of the proceeds to charity. And here’s some potential schadenfreude: the purchase (which, because of a stipulation in the contract, can’t be released for public consumption for 88 years) comes with an AWESOME caveat, as Twitter user Rob Wesley has claimed.
Forget the $2M, this is easily the most interesting part of the whole deal between Wu-Tang and Martin Shkreli. pic.twitter.com/5nSshXhjnJ
— Rob Wesley (@eastwes) December 9, 2015
The statement reads: “The buying party also agrees that at any time during the stipulated 88 year period, the seller may legally plan and attempt to execute one (1) heist or caper to steal back Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which, if successful, would return all ownership rights to the seller. Said heist or caper can only be undertaken by currently active members of the Wu-Tang Clan and/or actor Bill Murray, with no legal repercussions.”
Why Bill Murray? Why the hell not! Obviously cads on Twitter were quick to envisage this as the heist movie we’ve all been waiting to see.
— Mo Ryan (@moryan) December 9, 2015
— Brian Grubb (@briancgrubb) December 9, 2015
Clan in da front, Bill Murray in the back. Quite into the idea of Murray playing the louche Elliot Gould character from Ocean’s Eleven, with RZA as George Clooney. And they can just keep doing the heist over and over for eternity, selling them album, stealing it and selling it again.
It wouldn’t be the first collaboration between the group and the Lost In Translation actor, however. RZA, GZA and a caffeine-wired Murray appeared in Jim Jarmusch’s excellent indie comedy Coffee & Cigarettes in 2003, which you can see below.
Shkreli should remember one thing: Wu Tang Clan ain’t nothin’ to fuck wit.