Controversial pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli has said he is considering destroying a Wu Tang Clan album that he purchased for $2 million (£1.4 million).
The hip-hop group announced that they had sold their one-of-a-kind album ‘Once Up A Time In Shaolin’ to Shkreli in December, with the news coming to light after Shkreli made headlines and angered many by buying the rights to life-saving drug Daraprim and increasing its cost from $13.50 a pill to $750.
The former hedge fund manager has spent the past few days exchanging heated words with the group’s Ghostface Killah, who had referred to Shkreli as a “shithead” in an interview.
Now a Vice profile on Shkreli suggests that he is undecided on what to do with the release, which he cannot release commercially for 88 years due to contractual stipulations.
“Shkreli says he vacillates between wanting to destroy the record and dreaming of installing it in some remote place so that people have to make a spiritual quest to listen,” the Vice article reads.
Writer Allie Conti confirmed in a follow-up interview with Noisey that Shkreli played the ‘Shaolin’ album for her but she “barely got to hear it, because I was also interviewing him while it was on”.
“From what I heard, it was definitely better than their last album, although I wouldn’t say it’s worth $2 million necessarily,” she added. “I really hope Shkreli decides to release it to the public rather than destroy it, which is something he’s mulling over right now.”
Shkreli also told Conti that he is content with his negative public persona. “I’m not just the heel of the music world,” he said. “I want to be the world’s heel.” ‘Heel’ is a wrestling term analogous to a villainous character.
Since buying the Wu Tang album, Martin Shkreli has been arrested for securities fraud.
Wu-Tang Clan de-facto leader RZA previously implied that Shkreli has the power to do what he wants to do with the record, saying: “He bought it, he can do what he wants. The beautiful thing about art, from my standpoint, is that it has no discrimination.”
“If Mr. Shkreli feels philanthropic, he has the power to do something really cool, you know what I mean? He could do something that would allow more people to hear the record.”