3 May: The Wu-Tang Scamster

Martin Shkreli, ‘the most hated man in America’, purchased the one extant copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s concept album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ for $2 million on 3rd May, 2015. 

In seeking to sell their record in an auction, the hip-hop collective had been inspired by the concept of wealthy patrons funding Renaissance artists – but hadn’t counted on the winning bidder being the ‘pharma bro’ notorious for raising the price of toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim by a factor of 56.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider whether Shkreli’s ‘price gouging’ antics made him an (in)appropriate buyer; ask whether it can really be true that the multimillionaire didn’t even bother listening to his purchase; and explain what happened to the CD after Shkreli was imprisoned for fraud…

Further Reading:

• Everything I Know About the Wu-Tang Album from Hanging Out with Martin Shkreli (VICE, 2016): https://www.vice.com/en/article/3bjmq9/everything-i-know-about-the-wu-tang-clan-album-from-hanging-out-with-martin-shkreli

• ‘Wu-Tang clap back, dissing Martin Shkreli on new track’ (The Guardian, 2017): https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/22/wu-tang-clan-martin-shkreli-track

• ‘Martin Shkreli on Drug Price Hikes and Playing the World’s Villain’ (VICE, 2016):