Martin Shkreli, better known as “Pharma Bro” by some, took the world of music by storm in 2015 when he unexpectedly bought the unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” for $2 million, provoking extreme anger from the band’s fans as well as its members.
Wu-Tang Clan announced their decision to make one copy of the 31-track double album in 2014, and closed the deal with Shkreli in May of 2015, long before the media fueled scandal erupted over Shkreli raising the price of Daraprim by 5000% (Shkreli maintains it was insurance agencies who paid for it, not individuals, and said his company gave the drug away to those who could not afford it for free).
Now the album is up for sale on eBay, with the current bid at a comparatively low $100,000.
According to Shkreli’s eBay description, he is not selling the album to raise money, but rather out of frustration with the media’s portrayal of his purchase, and out of a curiosity to see if there are other music collectors who would pay to hear the album.
“I decided to purchase this album as a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan for their tremendous musical output,” wrote Shkreli, “Instead I received scorn from at least one of their (least-intelligent) members, and the world at large failed to see my purpose of putting a serious value behind music.”
“I will be curious to see if the world values music nearly as much as I have,” he added.
In his typical fashion as an Internet troll, Shkreli made it clear that he may terminate the offer at any time:
“At any time I may cancel this sale and I may even break this album in frustration. I will donate half of the sale proceeds to medical research. I am not selling to raise cash–my companies and I have record amounts of cash on hand. I hope someone with a bigger heart for music can be found for this one-of-a-kind piece and makes it available for the world to hear.”
Shkreli also pledged to “represent & warranty” that he will not retain any copy of the music, and added that he will “pay legal expenses for the buyer up to $25,000 to ensure the final purchase details are mutually agreeable.”
However, Shkreli poured cold water on the dreams of those who might be hoping for a commercial release of the 31-track album in the listing’s Q&A section. He told one potential bidder that buyers “would not be allowed to release the product on iTunes or other channels without permission of the Wu-Tang Clan,” and told another potential bidder that anyone who owns the album “may not commercialize the work for 86 years.”
All hope is not yet lost though. According to Shkreli, “the buyer may sell the CD to another buyer,” and most importantly, “the buyer may also release the music for free or play it publicly for free.”
He added, “legal documents will be provided to serious bidders.”