For those holding out hope that the $2 million one-off Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, will fall back into the hands of the RZA, don’t hold your breath. The Abbot of the mighty Staten Island collective said he’s already cashed the check and that Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli can do whatever he wants.
“He bought it, he can do what he wants,” RZA said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s John Heilemann on the program “With All Due Respect.” “Art — the beautiful thing about art, from my standpoint, is that it has no discrimination.” Despite some of the rapper’s criticisms of Shkreli, the sale is done. “What we’ve done is historical, and you can’t remove that.”
Shkreli was arrested last month on charges of securities fraud related to one of his former companies and several of his hedge funds. He is accused of lying to investors and misappropriating funds. He has denied wrongdoing. Bloomberg Businessweek reported last month that he had paid $2 million for the Wu-Tang album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” which exists only as a single copy.
Baruch Weiss, Shkreli’s lawyer, declined to comment.
While RZA has frowned upon Shkreli’s slimeball ways over his drug sale practices, which apparently angered the beleaguered businessman, he did state that much of what came to the light happened after the sale of the album.
There was a suggestion made that Shkreli could tour the album in museums or use it to raise funds for charity. Reports also came forth that Shkreli would lose the rights to the album but much of that is still up in the air.
As for the $2 million? Much of it appears to have gone to charity and the Wu-Tang Clan’s de facto leader is allowing the moment to be what it is.
Tune into Bloomberg TV or BloombergPolitics.com today at 5:00 PM ET to watch the full interview on the With All Due Respect program.
CORRECTION: We reported that Shkreli was currently incarcerated. We apologize for that mistake. Shkreli was released on bail that same day.
Photo: Bloomberg TV/Screen Cap