Good news; Wu Tang Clan is back! That's right, The RZA, The GZA, Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck,Masta Killa and even U-God, are all back with a new concept album.
Bad news; according to Bloomberg here's the concept...
It was one of the greatest sales pitches the music industry has ever heard. In March 2014, Robert Diggs, better known as RZA, the producer and de facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, the iconic rap group, announced that the Clan would create only one copy of its next album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, and sell it to the highest bidder. “We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of music,” RZA told Forbes. “We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like someone having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”
So basically only one person is going to get this album, and it's going to be the kind of person that sees the phrase "Having the scepter of an Egyptian king,” and thinks, "Oh, that sounds like something I should have."
Meaning that the person who will control the newest work from the guys that brought you Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and the Wu Tang Killa Bees: Swarm, Vol. 1 will have to be a wealthy sad megalomaniac who doesn't quite understand the notion of being perceived by other people...
Oh sh!t, you guys. We totally know who bought it.
Serious bidders got to hear the 13-minute highlights in private listening sessions arranged by Paddle8 in New York.
One of them was a pharmaceutical company executive named Martin Shkreli.
In his latest attempt to prove that he might be a performance art piece about the downfall of humanity, hedge fund manager turned pharma CEO Martin Shkreli has outed himself as the $2 million buyer of Wu Tang Clan's new album. And because the man-boy clown CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals cannot seem to surrender the dim spotlight of his infamy, Shkreli keeps talking to reporters even though he keeps saying things like this:
Shkreli idolized scientists, but he was also a music fan. Primarily interested in rock as a teenager, he didn’t understand rap, but that changed when he read Shakespeare in high school. “You would get these rhyming couplets and soliloquies and stuff like that, but the couplets would really kind of jar you,” he says. “They would be really these big, soul-crushing moments that Shakespeare intended to stir your spirit. And in many ways, music does that.”
Any other thoughts, Ludwig van Pricegougen?
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.
Hahaha! Horny, creepy and macabre, what a combo!
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!”
The $2 million also came with a chance for Shkreli to verbally torture have lunch with The RZA with whom he apparently did not relate to very deeply.
But once The RZA figured out who Shkreli was after news broke of his price hike on the lifesaving drug Deraprim, the non-relationship soured even further.
After learning that Bloomberg Businessweek was about to report that Shkreli had purchased the album, RZA e-mailed a statement: “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. We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.”
But the subtle rejection hasn't turned Shkreli off from the idea of paying silly money to hear music no one else can hear. After all, he's a wealthy pharmaceutical executive and recording artists need money.
Shkreli wants more artists to make private albums for him. He figures they could use the money, and he will let them do whatever they want. “It’s almost like the instructions to the band are, ‘Do your best work, however much time it takes, and never compromise anything for me,’ ” he says. “ ‘I just want to hear what you’ve got.’ ”
Hmm, Shkreli kind of had that situation going with the emo label he was funding before the artist running it returned his money and decided to go broke rather than stay in business and be associated with Martin Shkreli. We hope that Martin at least likes the album...
He hasn’t listened to Once Upon a Time in Shaolin yet. He’s saving that for a time when he’s feeling low and needs something to lift his spirits.
Hasn't even listened to it yet?! "Feelings?!"
We're calling bullsh!t, Martin. What's you're real angle here?
“I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that,” Shkreli says.
Protect ya neck, Tay Tay.
WHO BOUGHT THE MOST EXPENSIVE ALBUM EVER MADE? [Bloomberg]