RZA Responds To Martin Shkreli’s Hostile Words And Encourages Him To Let Wu Fans Hear Album
Last month, it was revealed the controversial business leader Martin Shkreli is the owner of the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album. After Bloomberg Business reported on the $2 million purchase of the special album, Shkreli began criticizing the RZA for his reaction to the purchase. At the time of the summer 2015 transaction, RZA claimed he was unaware that Shkreli was associated with a massive price-gouge on life-saving medication. After the Wu co-founder distanced himself from his benefactor, the 32 year-old Martin issued a warning.
Bloomberg Business spoke with RZA for his side of what happened. In a video interview, the MC/producer did confirm a one-on-one with the man who would own his group’s seventh studio album. “He did mention his love of Hip-Hop,” acknowledged RZA. “Not even 60 days later, he did put a strong offer in.” RZA also remembered Shkreli being present at a 12-minute snippet listening party at New York City’s Museum Of Modern Art.
In Shkreli’s early diatribe against RZA, the exec referred to the musician as “arrogant” in their dealings, despite the buyer’s generous (and accepted) seven-figure offer. With a chuckle, RZA responded, “That’s a little hostile. What could backfire from creating a piece of art, having an idea and seeing it grow into fruition. As far as me being arrogant? It depends on what day you catch me, I can be arrogant. Most people that know me respect me because I am down to earth.”
Before his late December arrest (for an unrelated business offense), Martin Shkreli made a number of threats regarding Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Claiming he had not listened to the work, he suggested trading a dubbed copy to Kanye West, in exchange for a beat. Asked if he cares of the outcome regarding the album, RZA responded, “He bought it, he can do what he wants.” Initially, RZA claimed that he wanted 88 years between the sale and the album being made available for public consumption. He understands that may not happen. “I could never discriminate who appreciates art.” RZA also made a suggestion that may be well received by Wu’s millions of fans, who did not have millions of dollars. The Abbot said, “[Martin Shkreli] has the power to do something really cool. If he wants to be philanthropic, he can do something to let the rest of the world hear the record…I think it’d be really good for the Wu fans.”
It has also been speculated if Once Upon A Time In Shaolin may be seized by Feds due to Shkreli’s charges of securities fraud. If so, the album may appear, again, at auction.
Notably, Shkreli spent December 25 in a 12-hour, online video chat. There, the mogul publicly watched a video of ProbCause’s video spoofing the sale and controversy the reaction is at the 4 hour, 26 minute mark: