Martin Shkreli, the pharma bro extraordinaire who raised the price of a life-saving drug more than 5,000%, bought Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the Wu-Tang Clan album of which only one copy exists.
Shkreli heard about Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and thought it would be nice to own, too. He attended a private listening session at the Standard Hotel hosted by (auction company) Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes. Shkreli, who describes himself as a bit of a recluse, recalls Gilkes telling him that if he bought the record, he would have the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities and rappers who would want to hear it. 'Then I really became convinced that I should be the buyer,' Shkreli says.
Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, refused to say how much he paid, but Bloomberg says he bought it for $2 million, citing "a source close to the deal."
In a statement, Wu Tang co-founder RZA made it clear the deal went down "well before (Shkreli's) business practices came to light."
"We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity,” RZA added.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.