Martin Shkreli and Wu-Tang's Ill-Fated Once Upon a Time in Shaolin

One of Wu-Tang Clan's satellite affiliates, the Moroccan producer Cilvaringz, completed a daring experiment in 2016: produce a single-copy album release for Wu-Tang and sell it for an art-world-level price to some, well, speculative sucker. The story of said experiment is documented in Cyrus Bozorgmehr's book Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (Flatiron Books), which I reviewed for

For such a sensationally eccentric album release, why wouldn't the winning bid end up going to a rabid sensationalist? Enter Martin Shkreli aka the "Pharma Bro". It's possible that a different winning bidder for the project could have lent more gravity to the album's intended message, that music as art is undervalued in the digital age, but Shkreli represented a black hole for any such coherence in media coverage or think pieces. Shkreli's legend only metastasized later on, after being convicted of securities fraud in federal court and publicizing offer of $5,000 to anyone who would deliver him hair plucked from the head of Hillary Clinton.