Something is rotten in the 36 Chambers.
‘Memba that Wu-Tang Clan album that would only be produced in one copy to be sold to the highest bidder? Welp, looks like the “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” bidder and winner is the pharmaceutical executive who hiked up the price of AIDS drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 a pill to $750. This according to Bloomberg who outed the anonymous buyer as former hedge fund manager and current hate magnet Martin Shkreli.
Shkreli, who quickly (and correctly), became demonized in the press and called out by presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton for his greed now possesses what RZA once described as the audio version of a “scepter of an Egyptian king.” He paid $2 million dollars for the honor.
Take a moment to drink that in. (Tastes horrible, doesn’t it?)
Sorry, as a longtime Wu fan who has damn near every available, non-scepter album from the aforementioned 36 Chambers to all things Ghostface, I must say I am deeply disappointed that this sale went through.
If there is anything positive arising from this situation it’s a statement that RZA, aka the Abbot and architect of the Wu sound, provided to Bloomberg Businessweek. “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,” the statement explains. “We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.”
The other bright side is that if Shkreli wants to, the group removed the caveat that the buyer wouldn’t be able to release the music to the public for 88 years. Technically he could stream it free. If he has any sense of decency, he will. But then again, we don’t have much proof that is the case per that Daraprim deal so….