It's possible Martin Shkreli's $2 million dollar Wu-Tang Clan album isn't a Wu-Tang album
Hopefully, Martin Shkreli kept his receipt.
Once Upon a Time in Shaolin became the most expensive album ever sold when in 2015 Shkreli paid a reported $2 million for the sole copy of the Wu Tang’s double CD. Now, with the “pharma bro,” who’s in plenty of legal trouble, having put the ultimate collector’s edition up for auction on eBay (the highest bid currently sits just over $1 million), there’ are questions about whether this truly is a Wu-Tang album.
Speaking to Bloomberg, many of those involved in the recording are denying Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is an official Wu-Tang project, and instead, one from producer Cilvaringz. “The way [Civaringz] presented it, was it was going to be basically his album, and he wanted me to do some work for him,” said Killa Sin, who appears on the album and has often been associated with the legendary rap group.
Statements from managers of Wu-Tang members to Bloomberg further support Killa Sin’s claims. “When we did the verses, it was for a Cilvaringz album,” shared Method Man’s manager, James Ellis. “How it became a Wu-Tang album from there? We have no knowledge of that.”
Domingo Neris, U-God’s manager, added, “It’s not an authorized Wu-Tang Clan album. It never was.”
Behind the historic auction were RZA, the de-facto leader of Wu-Tang, and Cilvaringz, the two listed producers on the project. RZA did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment, while Cilvaringz’s statement failed to provide any more clarity.
And what about Shkreli, the man, who paid $2 million for a record that might not be what he thought? “Hahahahahahahahahahahaha,” he responded to Bloomberg via email, according to the publication.
“Bloomberg is an overpriced, legacy software system that subsidizes a money-losing media company,” he added. “This state of affairs will soon change.”
Shkreli has played parts of the album publicly, but per his purchase agreement, he is not allowed to distribute the project. He writes in the eBay listing that he has not “carefully listened to the album.”
Read Bloomberg’s full story here.