Collecting News | All | Music memorabilia

Martin Shkreli lists unique $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album on eBay

The world’s sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in now up for sale on eBay.
In 2015 the album was sold through the U.S auction house Paddle8 for $2 million, setting a new world record price for the most expensive musical work in history.

Although the winning bid was made anonymously, the new owner was later revealed to be Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager described as "the most hated man in America".

Shkreli had caused controversy earlier in 2015, when his company Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the rights to the HIV drug Daraprim and raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per pill for their own commercial gain.

The album was recorded over a period of six years and pressed onto a single disc in 2014, which was then stored in a secret vault beneath a hotel in Marrakech.

Having acquired the album, Shkreli began taunting Wu-Tang fans by claiming he would release it for free download if Donald Trump won the 2016 US presidential election – but would destroy it if Hillary Clinton won.

The terms of the sale meant that Shkreli could not make copies of the album or release it for commercial gain until the year 2103.

In 2017 Shkreli was convicted of two counts of securities fraud, and whilst awaiting sentencing decided to place the album up for sale on eBay.

In his listing, he writes:

"I decided to purchase this album as a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan for their tremendous musical output. Instead I received scorn from at least one of their (least-intelligent) members, and the world at large failed to see my purpose of putting a serious value behind music.

"I will be curious to see if the world values music nearly as much as I have. I have donated to many rock bands and rappers over the years to ensure they can continue to produce their art when few others would.

"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."

With less than a week to go before the sale ends, bids have already surpassed the $1 million mark – but with eBay sales constantly attracting fake bids on major lots, Martin Shkreli may yet become the victim of some fraudulent business practises himself.

Just Collecting