His palms are sweaty.
Knees weak, arms are heavy.
There’s vomit on his sweater already.
The controversial Turing Pharmaceuticals founder, alleged fraudster, and all-around jerk Martin Shkreli earned the ire of hip-hop fans in 2015 when he was revealed to be the purchaser of the elusive one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The months to follow would find him publicly feuding with Wu-Tang original member Ghostface Killah, playing snippets in honor of Trump winning the Presidential election and potentially getting the album seized by the F.B.I. as he was investigated for allegedly committing fraud.
It’s a fittingly RZA-esqe narrative which, this past weekend, took even more unexpected turns. Shkreli put the album up for sale on eBay, with the eventual winner being decade-long Wu-affiliate and Canibus producer Matt “M-Eighty” Markoff. Markoff has promised to make the album available to listeners as soon as he receives it, however Shkreli is holding the transaction up as he was booked into a federal Brooklyn jail before the sale could be finalized.
Meanwhile, in a different chamber, Bloomberg revealed this weekend that Once Upon a Time in Shaolin might not be an official Wu-Tang album. As their investigation reveals, the album was largely helmed by longtime Wu-affiliate Cilvaringz. The album’s collaborators. such as Killa Sin and Shyheim, as well as the managers of Wu-icons Method Man and U-God say their contributions were under the guise of being for a Cilvaringz album, which hardcore Wu-fans speculate as being the oft-touted Cilvaringz album that was in-the-making for a decade.
Given that Shkreli’s trial’s difficulty finding jurors is at least partially the fault of Shkreli’s treatment of the Wu – we’re not joking – this Once Upon a Time in Shaolin drama seems like it will only intensify.