Back in 2015, pharmaceutical bro, hedge fund manager, real-life supervillain and preferred internet scapegoat Martin Shkreli purchased a rare, one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album called Once Upon A Time in Shaolin for a cool $2 million. Shkreli’s since fallen on hard times since, being convicted in early August on three counts of securities fraud and sent to a detention centre ahead of sentencing due to making an incredibly odious Facebook post offering $5000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. Shkreli’s exploits have apparently affected Once Upon A Time In Shaolin‘s resale value quite a bit, as Shkreli quietly let it go in an eBay auction last week for just $1,025,100.
The eBay description, which was last updated just prior to Shkreli’s stint in jail, stated multiple times that Shkreli wasn’t selling because he needed the money for legal fees, and that he’d donate half the proceeds. “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 wrote.
The sale follows hot on the heels of some controversy on whether or not Once Upon a Time In Shaolin is even a real Wu-Tang Clan album, as alleged by U-God’s and Method Man’s respective managers. “When we did the verses, it was for a Cilvaringz album,” said James Ellis, Method Man’s manager. “How it became a Wu-Tang album from there? We have no knowledge of that.” Moroccan producer Cilvaringz had apparently been collecting verses from Clan members for some time for his own project, before several of these verses made it onto the one-of-a-kind album. Weird: it almost seems like the album might not have been worth seven figures after all!