The hip-hop world breathed a little bit easier on Monday when news broke that indicted pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli would be forced to hand over the sole copy of Wu Tang’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
Widely regarded as one of big business’ more detestable examples of corporate greed, Shkreli rose to infamy when he hiked the price of AIDS drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a dose. The blatant cash grab was just one in a string of acts that made Shkreli one of the United States’ public’s favorite corporate targets.
Though not on the same level as, you know, condemning a bunch of sick people to death, another of Shkreli’s most unpopular moves came in 2015 when he paid a reported $2 million for a new Wu-Tang Clan album entitled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. After the purchase, Shkreli proceeded to spend the next several months happily playing the music industry villain while toying with the idea of merely destroying the album just to take it from people might enjoy it in the future.
Just days before the disgraced executive receives his sentence for securities fraud (of which he was convicted in December 2017), the federal prosecutor has announced that more than $7 million worth of merchandise will be removed from Shkreli’s home. Among the items are a Picasso painting, an album from Lil Wayne, and — of course — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
Though the album’s fate is currently uncertain, it would seem that music fans are closer than ever to finally hearing the album in its entirety. If the federal government wants to score big points with the music-listening public, all they need to do is post the long-awaited album for public consumption.
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