The anonymous buyer of Wu Tang Clan‘s one-of-a-kind double album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ is controversial former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, it has been revealed.
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”.
Just one copy of ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ exists, with the band selling the record with the stipulation that the music isn’t issued for public consumption for 88 years.
Bloomberg has now confirmed that Shkreli was the buyer behind the online sale. He spoke of fears that the hip-hop group would refuse the sale after learning of his past controversy.
“I was a little worried that they were going to walk out of the deal,” Shkreli said. “The whole kind of thing since then has been just kind of ‘Well, do we want to announce it’s him? Do we not want to announce it’s him?’ I think they were trying to cover their butts a little bit.”
Wu-Tang’s defacto leader RZA told Bloomberg in a 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.”
RZA previously explained of the project: “When you buy a painting or a sculpture, you’re buying that piece rather than the right to replicate it.
“Owning a Picasso doesn’t mean you can sell prints or reproductions, but that you’re the sole owner of a unique original. And that’s what ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ is. It’s a unique original rather than a master copy of an album.”
‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ is reportedly 128-minutes long and made up of 31 songs.