It’s only been a few weeks since news broke that someone had bought the secret Wu-Tang Clan album via auction for “millions” of dollars. The buyer was kept secret at the time, but now he has revealed himself.
It’s Martin Shkreli. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, then here’s a refresher: he’s the pharma CEO that raised the price of an essential AIDS and cancer treatment drug by 5,000%, going from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. After major backlash from, well, just about everyone, Shkreli announced he wouldn’t change the price after all. Then, when people had moved on to whatever the latest internet outrage was, he quietly stuck to his original plan and jacked up the price of the pill.
Shkreli didn’t say how much he paid for the album, a 31-track double disc entitled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, but there have been various reports that the price was around the $2 million mark. The deal was finalized back in May, before Shkreli’s rose to internet infamy for his greedy business practices. When Wu-Tang found out about who Shkreli really was, RZA announced that they would be giving a significant portion of the $2 million to charity.
As for the album itself, Shkreli can’t sell it commercially for 88 years, according to the sale contract.
There is also reportedly a clause that allows any member of the Wu-Tang Clan (or, inexplicably, actor Bill Murray) to legally steal the album back via a “heist or caper.” If successful, Shkreli would lose all rights to the album and not get his money back. Nope, this part was just a hilarious hoax. Too bad.