Wu-Tang fans can immediately rejoice and maybe be disgusted at the same time - Martin Shkreli, AKA that guy who looks like Patrick Bateman with the shit-eating grin over HIV meds price hiking a couple of months ago...
...is revealed to have been the person who bought Wu-Tang's album. Via bloomberg:
Then, on Nov. 24, Paddle8 announced that the Wu-Tang Clan had sold the album for a record figure “in the millions.” The price had been agreed to in May, but according to the press release, the parties “spent months finalizing contracts and devising legal protections for a distinctive work whose value depends on its singularity.” But the group wouldn’t reveal the buyer’s name. RZA said he wanted his privacy. “This was very much a mutual decision,” RZA insisted in an e-mail. There was only one wrinkle: The buyer didn’t care about his privacy; he wanted to go public.
Shkreli was taken by the Wu-Tang song C.R.E.A.M., which stands for “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.” It includes the often-repeated phrase “Dolla dolla bill, y’all!” Shkreli turned out to be good at making dollars himself. He founded two hedge funds that shorted pharmaceutical stocks and then started his own drug company, Retrophin, earning a reputation on Wall Street as something of a boy genius. In September 2014, however, he says he was “asked to leave” by the company’s board. Retrophin later alleged after an internal investigation that he’d abused his position and misused assets. Shkreli says that he didn’t do anything without the company’s approval. Retrophin and its former CEO are now facing off in court. “I was pretty pissed,” Shkreli says. “But I realized that it actually would be better for me, maybe not ego-wise, but financially. I could just sell my stock and build my own next company.”
Now that Shkreli had more money, he started collecting music-related items. He once joked on Twitter about trying to buy Katy Perry’s guitar so he could get a date with her. He purchased Kurt Cobain’s Visa card in a Paddle8 auction and occasionally produces it to get a rise out of people when it’s time to pay a check.
Shkreli heard about Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and thought it would be nice to own, too. He attended a private listening session at the Standard Hotel hosted by Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes. Shkreli, who describes himself as a bit of a recluse, recalls Gilkes telling him that if he bought the record, he would have the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities and rappers who would want to hear it. “Then I really became convinced that I should be the buyer,” Shkreli says. (Paddle8 declined to comment, citing their policy of client confidentiality.) He also got to have lunch with RZA. “We didn’t have a ton in common,” Shkreli says. “I can’t say I got to know him that well, but I obviously like him.”
Having participated in bidding wars for companies and drugs, Shkreli says he had a feeling from the start that he’d made the highest offer for Shaolin. As it turned out, he was right. Shkreli won’t say how much he paid. But someone familiar with the deal says that the Wu-Tang Clan sold him the album for $2 million. Before he closed on the acquisition, Shkreli was permitted to listen to a few more snippets to make sure it was all there. Shkreli delegated the task to an employee. The same month, news broke that Shkreli’s new company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, had purchased an anti-parasitic drug called Daraprim and raised its price from $13.50 a pill to $750. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton denounced him. “Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous,” Clinton tweeted. Her Republican opponent Donald Trump also attacked Shkreli. “He looks like a spoiled brat to me,” Trump said. The BBC wrote that Shkreli “may be the most hated man in America.”
I'll leave you to read the rest. The closing paragraphs in the bloomberg article are kind of hilarious.