Some will remember Martin Shkreli as the guy who bought a pharmaceutical company and then hiked up the price of a crucial anti-parasitic drug by %5,000. Now he's making headlines again, this time for purchasing the one-off Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, for a ridiculous $2 million.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Shkreli describes how he was told that if he bought the album, celebrities would be lining up to come check it out. The bidding took place through the online marketplace, Paddle8, and after a private listening session, Shkreli was told by Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes that celebs would be itching to get a listen.
“Then I really became convinced that I should be the buyer,” Shkreli stated by also revealing he got to dine with RZA. “We didn’t have a ton in common,” he says. “I can’t say I got to know him that well, but I obviously like him.”
Shkreli is aware of his reputation after the price hike of a pharmaceutical and he was worried Wu-Tang might back out of the deal. “I was a little worried that they were going to walk out of the deal,” he says. “But by then we’d closed. 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.”
After hearing of the news that Shkreli was in fact the one who purchased the album, RZA released 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.”
Shkreli has yet to actually listen to the album in full, he's saving it for a special occasion, he tells Bloomberg. “I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that,” Shkreli says. “But for now, I think I’m going to kind of save it for a rainy day.”
It's an interesting case and one that may have many scratching their heads. All I know is that if I bought the album, I'd listen to it right away. Wouldn't you?