Back in March of 2014, rap's kung-fu-loving storytellers Wu-Tang Clan announced they'd only be making a single copy of their next album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which would be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Despite protests from their fans, and a well-meaning, but ultimately futile Kickstarter campaign to keep the album out of the hands of a millionaire, the album reportedly sold for around $2 million. Both the auction company Paddle8 and Wu-Tang refused to name the buyer, and now it seems like there might've been a good reason for that. Because Bloomberg has just unmasked him, and it's... Martin Shkreli.
You'll probably never hear it
You might recognize Shkreli as the pharmaceutical exec behind the company that sells the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim, the price of which surged from $13.50 to $750 per pill this fall. He's largely unliked! But when he's not gouging the prices of potentially life-saving drugs, Shkreli sometimes finds time to listen to hip-hop. Hey guys, don't worry — Shkreli can afford Daraprim and wildly expensive novelty albums.
Unsurprisingly, Wu-Tang is not thrilled about this. RZA emailed a statement to Bloomberg claiming Shkreli purchased the album before anyone knew he was a terrible human, and that the group donated "a significant portion" of the album's proceeds to charity. Still, Wu-Tang made a conscious decision to sell an album that they knew only the super-wealthy could afford — it just so happens that this super-wealthy man is almost unanimously unpopular.
Wu-Tang has specified that the owner of Shaolin can do whatever he likes with it, and so far, Shkreli has done nothing. According to Bloomberg, he hasn't even heard it yet. Before they closed the deal, Wu-Tang offered to let Shkreli listen to the album to make sure all the tracks were there, and he sent an employee to do it. Now, Shkreli's waiting to see if any celebrities want to listen to it with him.
Update, 9:57AM ET: Shkreli now has a live stream of him listening to music up on YouTube. He tweeted that he "might play something special" and also talk about drugs. Right now nothing's happening, and this just seems like a way for Shkreli to get people to pay attention to him. But I guess if you want to watch this guy do nothing, go ahead.