In an interview with Bloomberg TV’s John Heilemann on the program With All Due Respect, Wu-Tang Clan general RZA sheds light on his thoughts about the purchase of the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The sole album was purchased by pharmaceutical drug executive, Martin Shkreli, for a reported $2 million via an online auction. You may know Shkreli from his recent controversies, including hiking up the price on a drug that treats HIV and his run-ins with the law. The exec was arrested by the FBI in December and was charged with seven different counts, including securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
When asked how he felt about Shkreli having the album, RZA states, “He bought it, he can do what he wants…The power of art is that so, I can never discriminate,” he said. “If the greatest man in the world was the one who wanted to possess it, it would have been his objective. If my enemy came to an auction and was like, ‘Yo, I want that picture of RZA just to throw darts at,’ it’s being auctioned. It’s something I can never, ever at this age in my life, I can never discriminate who appreciates art.”
There is still hope that Wu fans may be able to hear the album, it is rumoured that it may be seized by federal authorities in connection with Shkreli’s fraud charges. If the album is not seized RZA suggests that Shkreli does something philanthropic with it. The full interview will run on With All Due Respect, which airs on Bloomberg Television and BloombergPolitics.com. In the meantime check out the short clip above.
- Words: Livelle Mobley