Former hedge fund investor recently purchased one-of-a-kind album 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin'
Martin Shkreli – the buyer of Wu Tang Clan‘s multi-million dollar, one-of-a-kind album – has hit out at the hip-hop group, saying he feels “insulted” and “pissed off” by recent comments they made in the press.
Shkreli recently made headlines by buying the rights to life-saving drug Daraprim and significantly increasing the cost for users. The drug is primarily used by those diagnosed with AIDS. He was also a major investor in record label Collect Records, who later severed ties with the man who was described as the “most hated man on the Internet”.
He was later confirmed to be the buyer behind Wu-Tang’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ double album, of which just one copy exists. In a new interview, he confirmed that he purchased the record (which he is not allowed to release publicly for 88 years) for $2 million (£1.3 million).
The group’s de-facto leader RZA recently hinted that he wouldn’t have sold the album to Shkreli had he known of the Daraprim controversy at the time. “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,” he said in a statement.
RZA’s comments seem to have offended Skhreli, who has told Hip Hop DX that Wu-Tang are “starting to turn on me”.
“I’m the most successful Albanian to ever walk the face of this Earth,” he claimed. “I bought the album. [There’s a] big fucking check in RZA and Cilvaringz’ pocket now, but [now] they’re starting to turn up on me”.
“The Albanian community is a very weird community. We’re some of the most tight-knit kind-of kill for each other, die for each other motherfuckers there are,” he added. “People say it’s one of the craziest ethnicities there is in terms of their loyalty and bloodlines and shit like that.”
Skhreli added: “This [Wu-Tang] thing is starting to get pretty tense. You probably see that increasingly. I’m getting pretty frustrated by it. I bought the most expensive album in the history of mankind and fucking RZA is talking shit behind my back and online in plain sight.”
“I’m just getting pissed off. That’s not the way I do business. If I hand you $2 million, fucking show me some respect. At least have the decency to say nothing or ‘no comment.’ The guy says ‘before his business practices came to light.’ What the fuck does that mean? I fucking make money. That’s what I do. That’s why I can fucking afford a fucking $2 million album. What do you think I do, make cookies? No, motherfucker. I sell drugs… I felt insulted..”
“You’ve got to research Albanians, it’s the most hot tempered culture there is,” Skhreli continued. “I have a crazy temper myself. He’s from the streets. The guy hasn’t been in the hustle in 20 years. He doesn’t want to get me angry and I’m getting angry.”
In the same interview, Skhreli spoke of the possibility of paying for Bobby Shmurda’s bail after the rapper was arrested last year over allegations of gang violence.
Skhreli said: “We’re actually in discussion to try to bail out Bobby Shmurda. Forget whether you think he’s guilty or not, the guy should not be sitting in jail right now. It’s insane. He’s from Brooklyn. I’m from Brooklyn. He deserves a fair trial. He deserves good lawyers. He doesn’t have good lawyers.”
“His label is hanging him out to dry and so I have a conference call tomorrow morning with them. I’ll show up with $2 million bail money no fucking problem. He’s not going to flee the country. I’m not going to lose anything. I’m going to try to make that happen. That’s one thing I’m working on.”