Perhaps you heard the story back in September about Martin Shkreli -- an hedge fund-type guy who stirred up public outrage for wanting to jack up the price of Daraprim, an AIDS drug, from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. Perhaps you also heard that Wu Tang Clan produced a single copy of a new album, which was then auctioned off for a price in the millions.
Of course, Martin Shkreli is the guy who paid millions for that album. Because why wouldn't he be?
Bloomberg Business reports the embattled 32-year-old pharma CEO was the winning bidder behind the purchase of Wu Tang's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin -- reportedly for the price of $2 million dollars. Yes, $2 million dollars. The purchase went through in May, far before Shkreli's public shitstorm, but the stipulations of the sale were many, including an agreement "to not commercialize the content of the artwork to the public for a period of 88 years." A 13-minute medley was played for an audience at MoMA's PS1, but that's as much as the public has heard of the 31-track album, and will hear, for longer than we'll all be alive.
Beyond the stipulations, though, Shkreli hasn't even listened to the entire album himself. He was permitted one listen prior to the purchase, but, as a pharma money-hog would, he dispatched an assistant to do the listening.
If you haven't wanted to punch the guy yet, well, try suppressing that feeling after this quote:
“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.”
Just to be clear, a guy who said "I think I could have it raised it higher and made even more profit," about raising the price of an AIDS drug by 5,000% said he'd dust off a $2 million album he hasn't listened to so he could get a date with Taylor Swift. DON'T DO IT, TAY TAY.
Fortunately, there may be an out: the contract stipulates that in effect, Wu Tang members and/or Bill Murray can plot a heist to steal the album back, which would void all of Shkreli's rights to the album.