Wu-Tang Clan Album Owner Martin Shkreli Details Conflict With RZA & Issues Warning.
Last week, reports emerged of the buyer-seller conflicts surrounding Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album. The seventh Clan LP, released as one single copy, was revealed to be purchased by controversial pharmaceutical mogul Martin Shkreli. Wu’s abbot, RZA began to criticize the purchase after discovering the 32 year-old millionaire buyer’s history of raising the prices of life-saving drugs. The two men began a public back-and-forth, while the Brooklyn, New York native retains ownership of the historic LP.
“I bought the album. [There’s a ] big fucking check in RZA and [album producer] Cilvaringz’ pocket now,” said the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals to HipHopDX. In the interview, he elaborated, “This [Wu-Tang Clan] 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 [told Bloomberg] ‘…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. [Laughs] I felt insulted.” The sentence presumably confirms the speculated purchase price of Once Upon A Time…
In the interview, Shkreli describes plans to reach out to fellow Albanian-American Action Bronson, in the wake of his own conflicts with Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. Describing his own desire to rap and make music, the execution was unapologetic about his practices and wealth. “I’m staring at a [Pablo] Picasso [painting] in my living room right now that’s no different from the Wu-Tang [Clan] box except it’s about 20 times more expensive. It is what it is. If you sell me some shit, then sell me some shit. If you don’t want to sell it to me then don’t sell it to me.”
Martin also said he is not above putting pressure on his opponents. After describing his street-tough collection practices for a $3 million debt, the 32 year-old turned attentions back to the artist he calls “arrogant.” “I don’t think RZA knows that. I think he thinks I’m some powder puff white guy CEO that’s got too much money. No. No, no, no. I definitely don’t spend $2 million for nothing. That’s a lot of money, even if you’re Carl Icahn. I’d encourage him to shut the fuck up before he goes a little too far. We’ll see what happens. I think he’s a smart man. He definitely acts like his shit doesn’t stink and he invented rap. This concept of selling one album, this shit’s backfiring for him now…”
In the interview, Martin defended his profile as described by Bloomberg. His penchant for music artifacts is seemingly penetrating Hip-Hop closely. “I was at the Tupac [Shakur] auction buying all of Tupac’s manuscripts. It is what it is. If I’m an outsider, I’m an outsider. Dudes will still come up to me and need money for the records. I’ll still be here. I hope I’m accepted, for sure. Like you said, you need swag to pull off the shit I pulled off. To even have [Donald] Trump call you a spoiled brat. Donald-fucking-Trump called me a spoiled brat. That takes someone special, I think.”
Also in the discussion, Shkreli proposes bailing Bobby Shmurda from jail, trading a copy of Once Upon A Time… for a Kanye West beat, and offers DMX a sum for his next album.
Does this seven-figure buyer change the likelihood of more one-of Hip-Hop albums?