That $2 Million Secret Wu-Tang Clan Album Was Bought by Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli


It was reported not too long ago that Wu-Tang Clan’s secret one-of-a-kind album Once Upon A Time in Shaolin was finally sold, but the buyer was kept secret until now. Bloomberg reports that the buyer’s identity is 32-year-old Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, aka the dude who increased the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. The drug, which is used to treat AIDS and cancer patients, has since received competition in the form of a $1 dollar a pill rival.

Despite a Kickstarter campaign to keep Shaolin out of the hands of those without interest in the actual music, Shkreli agreed to buy the album for $2 million all the way back in May, long before Shkreli made headlines for his money gouging schemes. “I was a little worried that they were going to walk out of the deal,” he 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.”

RZA reiterated in an email to Bloomberg, saying, “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.” RZA says that the album attracted many buyers, “Private collectors, trophy hunters, millionaires, billionaires, unknown folks, publicly known folks, businesses, companies with commercial intent, young, old. It varied.”

As if he wanted to give everyone yet another reason to hate him, when asked about how Wu-Tang Clan fans might feel about the news, Shkreli said, “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.” After saying he hadn’t listened to it yet, he said, “I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that, but for now, I think I’m going to kind of save it for a rainy day.”

Read more about the complicated sale of the album and the album itself here.