Just last week, I was sick of news about Martin Shkreli and the Wu-Tang Clan album that he purchased for $2 million. Martin Shkreli is an irritant, a Single-A alt-right ballbag. He thinks of himself as a supervillain in the vein of Darth Vader, but possesses none of the terrifying, engrossing evil. He comes off more like the nerdy, chubby bad guy in The Incredibles: childlike, grating to listen to, almost pitiable. Writing about Martin Shkreli's self-satisfied attempts to be The Big Music Guy did me no good, mentally. Until now.
Devin Leonard and Annmarie Hordern published a piece at Bloomberg yesterday which suggests, quite forcefully, that Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is no Wu-Tang record. According to their investigation, it's probably a hyped-up project by Moroccan producer and RZA protégé Cilvaringz," who Noisey ranked as the 13th-best Wu-Tang affiliate in 2014. Hook this up to my veins.
The piece quotes from a number of Wu-Tang members and affiliates who were involved in ...Shaolin—Killa Sin, Shyheim Franklin, and representatives for U-God and Method Man—who each, in turn, say they have no idea how this ended up as a Wu-Tang Clan album. Essentially, Leonard and Hordern write, it's a well-made knock-off:
The accounts of Killa Sin and the representatives of U-God and Method Man echo a tale circulating on hip-hop websites: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin began as an undertaking by Cilvaringz, who later persuaded RZA, the de facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, to endorse the project and make the record more valuable
The article has everything: Martin Shkreli getting owned, Martin Shkreli responding to the reporters like a shamed, pissy Donald Trump, Martin Shkreli's investment potentially losing its value. The high bid on Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is currently a little over $1 million on eBay but there's nothing stopping anyone from withdrawing a bid, in light of this new evidence.
I still hope Michael Rapaport gets it. I just hope he pays $30 for it.
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