Wu-Tang Clan al­bum auc­tioned for RM4.2mil

The Star Malaysia - - World -

NEW YORK: An auc­tion by dis­graced phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ex­ec­u­tive Martin Shkreli for his unique copy of a Wu-Tang Clan al­bum has ended with a bid of more than US$1mil (RM4.2mil) – and plenty of ques­tions.

The brash mogul, who bought the cel­e­brated rap en­sem­ble’s sole edi­tion of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in 2015, last week put it up for sale. But on Wed­nes­day he was sent to jail, with a judge re­vok­ing his bail af­ter he threat­ened Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The auc­tion ended as sched­uled on Fri­day night on eBay with a win­ning bid of US$ 1,025,100 (RM4,305,420) – lit­tle moved since hit­ting US$1mil (RM4.2mil) on Sept 7 de­spite a se­ries of com­pet­ing bids.

The win­ning bid­der’s iden­tity was not known.

With Shkreli be­hind bars, it is un­clear when or how Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will find its way to its buyer. Fans were al­ready in for a wait; the Wu-Tang Clan had de­creed that the mu­sic will not be avail­able un­til the year 2103, al­though the owner is free to play it at pri­vate par­ties.

As the auc­tion was wind­ing down, ques­tions also arose over the au­then­tic­ity of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

Bloomberg News in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion pub­lished on Thurs­day said it was pos­si­ble that Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was not an ac­tual Wu-Tang Clan al­bum but rather an elab­o­rate set-up by the Moroc­can pro­ducer Cil­var­ingz, who sought out con­tri­bu­tions from mem­bers of the group.

Shkreli, in sell­ing the al­bum, had voiced re­sent­ment over crit­i­cism towards him, say­ing he had made a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan by valu­ing the mu­sic.

Shkreli has been dubbed the most hated man in Amer­ica af­ter he jacked up the price of HIV drug Dara­prim from US$13.50 (RM56.70) to US$750 (RM3,150) a pill overnight.

The 34-year-old New Yorker was con­victed last month on un­re­lated se­cu­ri­ties fraud charges and had been out on US$5mil (RM21mil) bail pend­ing sen­tenc­ing.

The judge re­voked the bail af­ter he of­fered a re­ward for any­one who would grab a strand of for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Clin­ton’s hair – re­marks he in­sisted were a joke.


One and only: ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ is stored in this steel case. There is just one copy of the al­bum in the world.

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