RZA Reflects on Martin Shkreli's Ownership of Lone Wu-Tang Clan Album: 'The Wrong Hands'

RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan thinks the sole copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin ended up in "the wrong hands in all reality" when Martin Shkreli wound up with ownership of it. The now-convicted pharmaceutical tycoon purchased the only physical copy of the project in 2015, but the studio LP has now changed hands since he started serving time for defrauding investors in former hedge funds and was forced to sell off several of his assets. Prior to the album purchase, Shkreli was largely chided by the public for purchasing the rights to Daraprim, a life-saving drug typically used by those living with AIDS, and hiking the prices. 

In an interview with Hot 97, the MC reveals that the deal that Shkreli signed to obtain ownership was made "before it was revealed ... his character, his personality, and all of the insidious things he would go on to do." He adds, "no disrespect to Martin Shkreli."

After purchasing the project for a whopping $2 million, Shkreli infamously celebrated the 2016 presidential election results by playing six songs off the exclusive album. When he was arrested in 2018 on three counts of security fraud, the US government seized all of the "pharma bro's" worthwhile assets –– including the Wu-Tang tape –– and sold it off. RZA says he's hopeful that the owner of the tape now will make sure it's finally heard by the masses. "It was a sale and I can't complain on who you sell it to," he says. "But now I think it's in the right hands. And I'm hoping it's in the right hands."

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The new owner, a crypto collective called PleasrDAO, offers more promise that the album will eventually be shared how the members of Wu-Tang were intending, RZA claims. "He just seems to have more of a Wu vibe about him," RZA says of the collective member he's spoken to, going on to say that he thinks the PleasrDAO will facilitate the album "[expanding] itself in the world and its own life of itself" where Shkreli stopped that from happening in the past.