If you’ve been keeping up with hip-hop or general music news as of late, you may of heard about the new Wu-Tang Clan project that was released on November 25. Yes, Wu-Tang is back but this is not an album that was recorded recently and rolled out by the group. It is a collection of music that was recorded between 2006 and 2013 and put together recently as a full album. The album is titled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and was produced by Wu-Tang’s RZA and long time Wu-Tang affiliate Cilvaringz.
Although it is great to hear one the most legendary hip-hop groups releasing a project again, a lot of fans were disappointed because the music isn’t necessarily available for them to enjoy. Only one copy of the album was manufactured and sold as a limited edition double album and the album isn’t available digitally either. It was auctioned through Paddle8 to the highest bidder. This is where it gets interesting as the purchaser was revealed by Bloomberg to be Martin Shkreli, the controversial hedge fund manager and pharmaceutical kingpin who spiked the price of Daraprim by 4000% recently.
Daraprim is an anti-infective agent commonly used
for patients with HIV. With this recent controversy, RZA and the members of Wu-Tang were not so thrilled to hear who their highest bidder was. RZA made a statement to Bloomberg saying that the sale had been finalized before they even knew who he was and that a significant portion of the proceeds will go to a charitable cause.
With the $2 million dollar sale of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the Guinness Book of Records has certified it as the most valuable album in existence, beating previous most expensive records in the world which are help by Elvis Presley and The Quarrymen. The album was also sold with some conditions as a legal agreement with the purchase states that the album cannot be commercially exploited until 2103, but can be released for free or played at listening parties which is highly unlikely given the price tag for the album.