Last month we learned that some rich bastard finally claimed Wu-Tang Clan’s million-dollar one-of-a-kind double album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in an online auction, and it turns out bastard is an understatement: Bloomberg reports that Martin Shkreli — the man who infamously jacked up prices on Daraprim, a drug used to treat AIDS and cancer patients — paid $2 million to become the owner of the most-coveted album in rap. He previewed the album in private back in the spring, had lunch with RZA, and made it his mission to add the album to his growing collection of music rarities. Shrekli — who also bought Kurt Cobain’s Visa card in a similar auction and now uses it to show off — says his deal with the Wu-Tang Clan to purchase the album had closed well before the controversy over his price hike on Daraprim made headlines. And in a statement to Bloomberg, RZA says the group has since “decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.”
As you might expect from the dude who recently admitted he would’ve charged even more for the drug, he’s not about to let just anyone hear the album either. In fact, even he hasn’t heard the whole thing 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.” One of Wu-Tang’s terms of ownership forbids the buyer from selling the album commercially, meaning that if Shrekli’s feeling generous, he could host listening parties at his penthouse or eventually make it available to the public for free online. Needless to say, that’s a pretty big if.