The pharmaceutical exec posted a letter addressed to West on his Twitter account Thursday “in hopes of convincing you to withhold the release of your forthcoming album.” He sent out the request just minutes after West began debuting the album via a live stream of a listening session at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
In the letter, Shkreli goes on to propose that “instead of releasing this product for your millions of fans, I ask you to sell this recording solely to me, for the price of $10,000,000.” He wrote: “I believe you (and your partners) will find this financial arrangement more attractive than your current course of action.”
Although Shkreli was successful in acquiring Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million, this situation’s a bit different: The rap outfit had previously announced that they would only produce a single copy of their new album and sell it to the highest bidder, whereas West has never expressed such a plan — in fact, anyone with an Internet connection could get a first listen of the entire album Thursday before its expected release Friday.
After posting the letter, Shkreli tweeted that “Kanye and his label are legally required to take my offer letter to their Board of Directors … This should delay the album by a few days.” (EW has reached out to legal counsel to assess the validity of his statement.)
Shkreli first gained infamy in 2015 when his company, Turing Pharmaceutical, drastically raised the price of a drug used to treat a parasitic disease that frequently strikes AIDS patients. He later was arrested on charges of security fraud (unrelated to the price hikes) in December.
West’s team did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.