Martin Shkreli, known around these parts as the “Pharma Dweeb,” boasted heavily that he was able to snag the top-secret Once Upon A Time In Shaolin Wu-Tang Clan album. However, the joke might be on the beleaguered Shkreli as affiliates of the Wu are alleging that the LP is not an official crew project.
As Bloomberg revealed in an investigative piece, Once Upon A Time in Shaolin was the handiwork of Wu-Tang Clan-affiliated producer Cilvaringz, who invited several members of the vast crew to record for what was allegedly known to them to only be featured on Cilvaringz’s project. However, verses from Killa Sin, U-God, and Method that Cilvaringz recorded landed on the album but there seems to be a wider mixup.
“It’s not an authorized Wu-Tang Clan album,” says Domingo Neris, the manager of the rapper U-God, a charter member of the Clan. “It never was.”
“When we did the verses, it was for a Cilvaringz album,” says James Ellis, manager of Method Man, another core member of the group. “How it became a Wu-Tang album from there? We have no knowledge of that.”
Cilvaringz chose not to respond in detail to questions about the record’s genesis. “The album and its concept were an evolutionary process that spanned six years, too complex to explain in a soundbite,” he said in a statement. “All participating Wu-Tang artists were paid in advance while RZA and I bore the financial risk of the project.”
According to HHDX, Shkreli’s eBay auction of the album cleared for just over $1 million but since his recent imprisonment, the transfer of monies and goods has yet to be finalized. The outlet spoke with auction winner Matt “M-Eighty” Markoff, who intends to unveil the album to the public once it gets handed over.
Tough to kick a man when he’s down, but some jokers like Shkreli kind of deserve it.