Cartoonish villain from an '80s movie Martin Shkreli has been biding his time since he was convicted in his securities fraud trial last month, doing Shkreli-esque things like buying websites associated with the names of journalists critical of him and offering a reward for a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair. Since he apparently has nothing better to do, he has also decided to auction off his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
In the eBay listing for the album, Shkreli contends that he isn't trying to make money off the album (he claims he will donate half the sale to charity), but rather wants to "see if the world values music nearly as much as I have." He also warned that he might cancel the sale or even "break this album in frustration" at any point, so I wouldn't hold your breath about it being released into the world. As of 11:20 a.m. this morning, the highest bid is hovering just around $100K.
Here's his full listing:
This is the one and only Wu-Tang album.
I decided to purchase this album as a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan for their tremendous musical output. Instead I received scorn from at least one of their (least-intelligent) members, and the world at large failed to see my purpose of putting a serious value behind music. I will be curious to see if the world values music nearly as much as I have. I have donated to many rock bands and rappers over the years to ensure they can continue to produce their art when few others would.
At any time I may cancel this sale and I may even break this album in frustration. I will donate half of the sale proceeds to medical research. I am not selling to raise cash--my companies and I have record amounts of cash on hand. I hope someone with a bigger heart for music can be found for this one-of-a-kind piece and makes it available for the world to hear.
Upon sale, I will represent & warranty any copies of the music I have will be destroyed. I have not carefully listened to the album, which is a double CD. There is also a finely crafted booklet which you can read about elsewhere. I will pay legal expenses for the buyer up to $25,000 to ensure the final purchase details are mutually agreeable.
Shkreli purchased the album for $2 million in 2015. The album also came with a clause stating that he cannot play it commercially for 88 years, though he is allowed to play it at parties (and he has been nonchalant about streaming bits of it on his livestream). He was later sued by a New York artist who claims that the artwork included with the album was taken, used, and sold without permission. He also drew the ire of Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah, who called him a "fake-ass super-villain."
The Post tried to get in touch with Shkreli about the bid, which went about as well as you'd imagine: "Reached by phone Tuesday night, Shkreli refused to say where he would donate the money or what he would do with the remaining cash. Instead he unleashed a string of expletives and then requested to engage in a lewd act with a reporter."
Shkreli is facing up to 20 years in prison, which means there would only be about 66 years left after that during which the album couldn't be sold commercially.