The owner of Wu-Tang’s million-dollar, one-of-a-kind Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album is the pharmaceutical CEO who raised the price of an AIDS drug by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli – the 32-year-old businessman who came under fire for switching the price tag on the drug Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill – was revealed to have purchased the album by a new report from Bloomberg Business.
Wu-Tang’s limited edition album includes 31 tracks, a leather-bound 174 page books of lyrics, and came in a hand-carved box. Shkreli, who was a fan of rock until he grew a an appreciation for rhymes through Shakespeare (insert eye roll), discussed the controversy surrounding his business. Remarking that he has done what he was “hired to do,” the article states that he “seems mildly amused by the controversy.”
“What’s escaped the conversation is, hey, how about the fact that this is actually what I’ve been hired to do,” Shkreli said. “It’s like someone criticizing a basketball player for scoring too many points.”
Shkreli admitted that Wu-Tang was hesitant about disclosing that he was the buyer of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin after the news hit of his drug price increase. Once the group received word that the news would go public, RZA released the following 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.”
“I was a little worried that they were going to walk out of the deal,” Skhreli said. “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.”
As a message to disgruntled fans, Skhreli has but one thing to say: “At the end of the day, they didn’t buy the last album or the one before that, and all they had to pay was $10.” He also planning to have other artists make “private albums” for him.
“Typically you would say, ‘As an average fan, I can’t get Fetty Wap to give me a personal concert,’?” he said. “The reality is, sure you could. You know, at the right price these guys basically will do anything.”