When the album sold for $2 million earlier this year, the same question, though now less abstract and more concrete, took shape: Who would pay that? Now, finally, thanks to Bloomberg Business, we have an answer: Martin Shkreli.
When you read that name, you probably thought one of two things: Who is that guy; or, Ugh, not that guy.
For those that only thought the former, the reason people may have thought the latter is because, a few months ago, Shkreli made news when he raised the price of a potentially life-saving AIDS drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 overnight.
Because of that controversy, Shkreli thought his deal, which was agreed to earlier this year, before the price hike, would fall through.
“I was a little worried that they were going to walk out of the deal,” he said. “But by then we’d closed. The whole kind of thing since then has been just kind of ‘Well, do we want to announce it’s him? Do we not want to announce it’s him?’ I think they were trying to cover their butts a little bit.”
The Wu are still going through with the sale, but, if you read between the lines of RZA's statement to Bloomberg, they're doing it a bit begrudgingly. "The sale of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was agreed upon in May, well before Martin Skhreli’s [sic] business practices came to light," he said. "We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.”
The most unbelievable part of this whole ordeal? Shkreli hasn't even listened to the album yet: “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.”