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Thread: Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

  1. #46
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    sold for $1M+...probably.

    Stop The Press: Martin Shkreli's $1M Sale Of Rare Wu-Tang Clan LP Is Incomplete
    September 17, 2017 | 9:19 PM
    by Kyle Eustice


    Facebook/MartinShkreli

    Martin Shkreli’s eBay sale of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is evidently incomplete. According to Matt “M-Eighty” Markoff, whose tenure in the Hip Hop game is decades deep, Shkreli was unable to officially finalize the sale before being booked into a federal Brooklyn jail last week.

    The good news? Once Markoff, who routinely works with Wu-Tang, is able to secure the album, he plans to share it with the rest of us.

    “I was the second highest bidder at 1,025,000 and he did not make arrangements for the sale before being arrested again,” Markoff told HipHopDX. “If he has any release time before his ultimate conviction and sentencing, that is when he and I will be finalizing the purchase agreement off eBay.”

    He added, “I will be releasing the album to the world at large. ”

    As indicated by eBay’s website, the bidding for Once Upon A Time In Shaolin closed on September 15 and a bid of $1,025,100 was deemed “the winning bid.”

    So far, Shkreli’s signature has not made it to the paperwork.


    Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 5.48.18 PM

    On September 7, shortly after the album went up for sale, Markhoff posted his official proposal and announced his bid was in the Top 5. Skhreli’s John Hancock is noticeably missing.

    “According to Martin Shkreli my proposal is sitting in the Top 5. #LETSGETIT,” Markoff wrote.

    Matthew Markoff
    about a week ago
    According to Martin Shkreli my proposal is sitting in the Top 5. #LETSGETIT
    Ambrosia For Heads x HipHopDX.com x 2DopeBoyz x XXL Magazine x The Source Magazine x Nah Right x Mass Appeal x Pigeons and Planes x Fake Shore Drive x Thisis50 x SiriusXM Shade 45 x LA Weekly x RAPstation
    #WUTANGCLAN #ONCEUPONATIMEINSHAOLIN
    For now, the date of the album’s final sale is uncertain, but if Markoff has his way, it will be available to the public in the (very) near future.
    I'll be glad when Skherli is out of this tale...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #47
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    Ain't nuthin to **** with

    Indeed...alas.

    The author does make a good point on Donald & Hillary.

    SEP 15, 2017 @ 01:07 PM
    Alas, Martin Shkreli Did Buy A Real Wu-Tang Album
    Zack O'Malley Greenburg , FORBES STAFF


    Rashad Patterson
    As much as we'd all like to believe that disgraced pharma bro Martin Shkreli has been duped, he hasn't.

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may only agree on one thing: that Martin Shkreli is despicable. Two years ago, after the former pharma executive raised the price of a drug used to treat infections in AIDS patients by 5,000%, Clinton fumed about his "price-gouging," while Trump dubbed his actions "disgusting." Shkreli's stench crossed oceans: the BBC called him "the most hated man in America."

    People love to hate on Shkreli--currently in jail after violating his bail on a fraud conviction for publicly offering $5,000 for a strand of Clinton's hair--and rightly so. That's probably why a Bloomberg story suggesting that the erstwhile executive was duped into spending $2 million for the Wu-Tang Clan's secret album, The Wu ... Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, has been getting so much traction this week. The piece, while deeply reported and elegantly written, revolves around a three-year-old argument that the record is not actually a Wu-Tang record. It is, by any reasonable definition. But first, let's back up a bit.

    In 2014, Forbes first broke the news of the Wu-Tang Clan's secret album. Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, produced by Wu affiliate Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh and championed by group ringleader Robert "RZA" Diggs, had been produced in Morocco with new verses from the group's original members and was sitting in a safe, awaiting purchase. There was a catch: the album would only be sold to a single buyer who would be contractually unable to release it to the public.

    “We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” said RZA, the first Wu-Tang member to speak on record about Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. “We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music. We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king."

    In the two years that followed, RZA spoke frequently of his plan to use the album as a way to reestablish the value of recorded music, placing it on the same level as the fine arts. He wanted to bring back the model of wealthy patrons hiring musicians to create one-of-a-kind works--and move toward a world where the priciest albums could rival the most expensive paintings. Everything seemed to be going according to plan, and in 2016 the album was sold to a wealthy pharmaceutical executive for $2 million. The problem: it was Shrkeli. RZA and Cilvaringz either realized too late, or simply didn't care, about his odious track record. And when faced with a backlash over the news, they announced they'd donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.

    From the beginning of the process, though, many Wu-Tang fans were understandably incensed about Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. They hated the idea that their favorite group would create an album that wasn't for them, and many of them began trashing Cilvaringz on the web soon after the news broke in 2014. Some suggested that, because he wasn't a charter member of the Wu-Tang Clan, the record was a fraud. His diplomatic response: "People are responding to it in a very interesting way ... and it's starting the things we wanted to start: debates."

    Cilvaringz's involvement in the album, and his status with the group, wasn't some big secret. A simple web search reveals the nine members of Wu-Tang, and he clearly isn't one of them. So to say that Shkreli was "misled" is, well, misleading. The debates were out there in the open, and Shkreli, with even a few minutes of due diligence, should have been able to catch himself up on the debate.

    That aside, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin bears all the markings of a Wu-Tang album. As one of the few people who's heard several minutes of it, I can say with certainty that it sounds like a Wu-Tang album, bringing all the vivid urgency of 1990s New York into your eardrums. It looks like a Wu-Tang album, with the group's cherished--and undoubtedly legally protected--logo on its handcrafted silver-and-nickel cover. And, most importantly of all, it features the group's original members, championed most prominently by RZA, the man who molded Wu-Tang from a loose confederation of (mostly) Staten Island rappers into an official group.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #48
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    Lesson Learn'd

    Wu-Tang Clan Mention Martin Shkreli on New Song ‘Lesson Learn’d’
    September 22, 2017 1:19 PM


    Photo: Courtesy Wu-Tang Clan

    By Scott T. Sterling

    Wu-Tang Clan have released a new new song, “Lesson Learn’d,” from the group’s upcoming album, Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues.

    Related: Martin Shkreli Puts Rare Wu-Tang Clan CD on eBay

    On the new track, which features Redman, Inspectah Deck mentions “pharma-bro” Martin Shkreli, who famously purchased the only copy of Wu-Tang’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million: “My price hikin’ like the pills Martin Shkreli sell.”

    Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues is now available for pre-order, which provides buyers with an instant download of “Lesson Learn’d.”

    Check out new track, which contains explicit language, below.
    Wu-Tang - Lesson Learn'd” featuring Inspectah Deck and Redman
    The Wu-Tang saga of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin plays on...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  4. #49
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    The Book

    CYRUS BOZORGMEHR | WU-TANG CLAN
    A Clash of Hip-Hop Legend, Pop-Culture Philosophizing, and one Incredible Story
    BY JOHN BURNS
    12 October 2017


    WHAT IS THE TRUE VALUE OF MUSIC? CYRUS BOZORGMEHR CONSIDERS THIS QUESTION IN HIS WILD RETELLING OF THE STORY OF ONCE UPON A TIME IN SHAOLIN; THE WU-TANG CLAN'S SINGLE-COPY ALBUM PROJECT.



    ONCE UPON A TIME IN SHAOLIN: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WU-TANG CLAN'S MILLION-DOLLAR SECRET ALBUM, THE DEVALUATION OF MUSIC, AND AMERICA'S NEW PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1
    CYRUS BOZORGMEHR
    (FLATIRON)
    US: JUL 2017

    AMAZON
    For hip-hop aficionados, the Wu-Tang Clan are a big deal. From the moment they first stepped up to the stage in Staten Island, New York in the early ‘90s, it was clear that something was up. Since then, the Clan have attracted a ravenously devoted fanbase, and have managed to pull the rare trick of being cult heroes, critical darlings, and mainstream superstars, all at the same time.

    This combination of shrewd business acumen and musical prowess propelled the group skywards. A slew of critically acclaimed, commercially successful albums followed, securing the group’s position up there in the pantheon of hip-hop royalty.

    Not all survived the ride. In 2004, Russel Tyrone Jones—better known as Ol’ Dirty *******, or ODB—died of a suspected drug overdose. His death followed an extended period of legal troubles and increasing mental instability for Jones, and plunged the already fractious hip-hop collective into its darkest period to date.

    Under the stewardship of unofficial leader RZA, the surviving motley crew of Raekwon, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killer, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Master Killa needed to head somewhere new. They needed to refresh the project and move into new territory, which had yet to be charted. They’d sold gold and platinum albums in the past, so what about just selling one album? A single copy of an album, for millions of dollars? An extreme idea—so extreme that it might just work.

    This is the story of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a one-off musical project, which would go on to be the most exclusive, and expensive, record ever produced, as told by senior advisor and collaborator, Cyrus Bozorgmehr. Hold on tight, because it’s a rollercoaster.

    Bozorgmehr is our narrator, our authority, our window into this world of privilege and improbability; a world in which basically anything can happen and in which Cher drops in for a guest spot. But primarily, he is our confidante in the ‘ripping yarn’ and all round tall-tale that is Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. As readers, we wade into the narrative at the same time Cyrus does, meeting an enigmatic “Moroccan chap” named Tarik, who turns out to be Dutch rapper and producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh.

    The meeting takes place at a launch party thrown by the Scottish artist and former gangster Jimmy Boyle in Marrakech. The tone is set from the start: money, art, danger, intrigue, glamor. It’s all here, and with Bozorgmehr by our side, we know we are going to experience it all.

    Bozorgmehr’s narrative style is less ‘balanced historical account’ and more ‘excitable (and very articulate) stranger in a bar’ who grabs our attention and keeps it. Don’t expect thoroughly-sourced, meticulously-interrogated testimony from Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. This is an eyewitness account, although much of what our new friend recounts he could not possibly have borne witness to. This is a ride; we either get on board with our narrator from the start, or we wave him off at the platform. There are no raised hands, no questions. Just a breakneck dive into a world we never thought we’d be privy to.

    For eaders, this sense of ‘getting on board’ is vital. The clichés come thick and fast in the early stages of the book—the winds “howl” and rains “slam down” in the “cruel” Dutch summer, Cilvaringz’s quest to find RZA is “like climbing the highest mountain imaginable”—and several times Cyrus’ account veers dangerously close to being grating. We have a choice to make; we either accept Bozorgmehr’s singular voice, or we don’t bother with the book at all. Quite simply, it’s Cyrus’ way, or the highway.

    Those that persevere may find themselves rewarded, however. What our companion lacks in terms of narrative skill and originality, he makes up for in enthusiasm, passion and the richness of the subject matter. On that fateful Moroccan day back in 2007, Bozorgmehr stumbled across an untapped seam of pure pop culture gold, and the opening of a fascinating chapter in the history of music as we know it.

    The story goes like this: One of the world’s most respected hip-hop outfits have a vision. Working closely with their Dutch protege-turned-associate, they set about changing the way music is consumed, even the way it is perceived by the general public. They want to re-elevate hip-hop, and music in general, to the status of bona fide art form, stepping away from the ‘throwaway’, ‘instant download’ culture of modern music towards something more tangibly profound.

    How will they do this? By recording and releasing a single-copy album; an album which will be promoted via sneak previews and closely-guarded installations in art galleries and academic institutions. After this, it will be auctioned to the highest bidder, and immortality will be achieved.

    The idea of immortality creeps up several times in the book. When Bozorgmehr shows us the genesis of this record, it occurs at Egypt’s great pyramids of Giza. Cilvaringz and RZA have visited the ancient site on a journey which is part jet-setting holiday and part soul-searching vision quest. The pair and their guide manage to charm themselves into the pyramid complex after closing time… Bozorgmehr takes up the story from here:

    “As they sat, heads bowed to the dynasty that demanded such immortality and the forgotten craftsmen who forged it, they marvelled at the precision, the detail, the art, the permanence… up here on the pillars of time, the third eye opened.”

    “Someday we need to do something together that lasts through the ages,” whispered Cilvaringz.

    RZA nodded, lost in thought. Shapeshifting in the lone and level sands… “Word.”
    It’s the fabulous clunkiness of this sort of prose, the kitsch improbability of the events described, that make the book so charming. Whether Bozorgmehr is taking us on a nervous, sweaty-palmed trip through Homeland Security with a priceless cargo in tow, or whether he’s leading us on a philosophical exploration of the nature of art and of cultural consumption, he retains the reader’s attention. The quality of his writing may be up for debate, but he’s quite the storyteller, and that’s certainly worth something.

    You could make the argument that the cultural points raised—the concept of artistic hierarchies with fine art at the top and video games at the bottom, the increasing commoditization of music and the musicians who make it by major corporations—deserve more sober and extended analysis. This is certainly true, but to do so would have made this a different book entirely.

    This is no critical theory treatise. This is no historical document. This is the story of chance encounters, gathering momentum, and a whole lot of drive. This is the story of a man who was involved in a project he truly believed i, and wound up with some incredible anecdotes along the way. By time real life pantomime villain Martin Shkreli shows up with $2million in his mitts, it would take a hard heart not to be just a little intrigued.

    Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is flawed, yes. Dubious; perhaps, in places. Disposable; certainly not.
    If Cyrus Bozorgmehr was a true artist, he would've only published a single edition of his book.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #50
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    Gotta wonder how much they would've made had they released it conventionally.

    There's a vid behind the link.

    RZA tells us why he ‘will always respect’ Martin Shkreli for ‘making history’ with Wu-Tang Clan album
    By Andrew Trendell Nov 17, 2017

    "Even with all the negative things he's done, for music there's something positive there"

    Wu-Tang Clan‘s RZA has said that he will ‘always respect’ controversial businessman Martin Shkreli for helping them ‘make history’ with their album ‘Once Upon A Time With The Shaolin’. Watch our video interview with Wu-Tang above.

    Millionaire Shkreli, who was recently jailed for fraud, notoriously purchased the sole copy of the legendary hip-hop group’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ album back in 2015. He then put the album up for sale in September and got $1,025,100 for it.

    Speaking to NME for this week’s cover story, RZA said that he had no regrets about the transaction – and felt no ill-will towards Shkreli for selling the record on.



    New York rappers Wu Tang Clan sold the ONLY copy of their album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ to a mystery buyer for $2m. That buyer turned out to be the universally reviled Martin Shkreli, a CEO who bought a drug used to treat AIDS and jacked its price from $13.50 per pill to $750. Wu Tang head honcho RZA was aghast and pledged to donate “a significant portion” of the cash to charity.</p>New York rappers Wu Tang Clan sold the ONLY copy of their album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ to a mystery buyer for $2m. That buyer turned out to be the universally reviled Martin Shkreli, a CEO who bought a drug used to treat AIDS and jacked its price from $13.50 per pill to $750. Wu Tang head honcho RZA was aghast and pledged to donate “a significant portion” of the cash to charity.

    “[It was a ]total success that we can thank Martin,” RZA told NME. ” For being a guy who put his word on something and did it. I didn’t agree with the eBay thing, but when I read his paragraph on why he did it, I kind of respected and understood what he said.

    “He wants the value of music to continue. Within eight days the bidding reached over a million dollars, and that means there are other people who put value on music and value on what we stand on… So even with all the negative things he’s done, for music there’s something positive there.”

    Asked about Wu-Tang’s current relationship with Shkreli, RZA said: “I know he’s in the penal institution now [for security fraud, and conspiracy to commit security fraud]. I don’t like that for no man, but he has to deal with [what] he has to deal with.

    “They say don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time – but we made history together, that part I will always respect.”



    Shkreli has also proved unpopular after his firm Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of Aids medication drug Daraprim by 5556% from £10 to £577. Known for his extravagant, self-publicising lifestyle, Shkreli has frequently been labelled the most unpopular man in America and has called himself “The world’s biggest heel”.

    ‘The Saga Continues’ by Wu-Tang Clan is out now.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  6. #51
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    Right up there with Picasso

    Congrats RZA. Mission accomplished. OUATIS may not have got the art gallery exhibit you dreamed of, but it surely became art.

    U.S. prosecutors could seize Shkreli's $2 million Wu-Tang album, Picasso


    Convicted former pharma exec Martin Shkreli may have to part with a one-of-a-kind album by the Wu-Tang Clan, which he bought for $2 million. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP/Getty Images)
    Renae Merle
    Washington Post

    Martin Shkreli may have spun his last track on a one-of-a-kind album by the Wu-Tang Clan.

    Prosecutors said Friday that the former biotech CEO, who was convicted this year on securities fraud charges, should be forced to forfeit $7.4 million. That amount could include $5 million in bail money and the celebrated New York hip-hop group's album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," which he bought two years ago for $2 million.

    Prosecutors said they may also seek Shkreli's interest in Turing Pharmaceuticals, his Enigma code-breaking machine from World War II and his Picasso painting. Shkreli became a focal point of national controversy when he raised the sticker price of a potentially life-saving drug by 5,000 percent in 2015.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #52
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    A fool

    March 1, 2018, 8:23 AM
    "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli's plea for leniency: "I was a fool"

    NEW YORK - "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli admitted that he was "very far from blameless" in a letter to a judge asking for leniency, according to court filings.

    "I was wrong, I was a fool. I should have known better," Shkreli wrote in his letter to Brooklyn federal court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.

    "I accept the fact that I made serious mistakes, but I still believe that I am a good person with much potential," Shkreli said.

    The brash former pharmaceuticals company CEO was convicted in August of cheating investors in two failed hedge funds. He remains in jail and faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 9.

    Shkreli, 34, is perhaps best known for boosting the price of a lifesaving drug.

    He was out on bail during his trial but was jailed when the judge decided he had made veiled online threats against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    "I have learned a harsh lesson," he said. "The trial and six months in a maximum security prison has been a frightening wake-up call. I now understand how I need to change."

    Earlier this week, the judge ruled that Shkreli was responsible for nearly $10.5 million in losses in the securities fraud scheme, a decision that could result in a harsher punishment.

    ".... if you find it appropriate to impose a sentence that does not include an extended period of incarceration," Shkreli wrote, "I will do my absolute best to use my skills and whatever talents I have been blessed with for the betterment of humanity."
    He deserves the full 20.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #53
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    The saga continues...

    We'll meet back here later this week for the sentencing, and then again for the auction, I imagine.

    The feds have Martin Shkreli’s Wu-Tang album
    Enter the Feds
    By Sarah Jeong@sarahjeong Mar 5, 2018, 2:50pm EST


    Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    A federal court is forcing Martin Shkreli to hand over the Wu-Tang album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to the government. Shkreli, a pharmaceuticals CEO who earned the nickname “Pharma Bro” for cavalierly hiking the price of an HIV treatment, was convicted of securities fraud in August 2017.

    Though he has yet to be sentenced, a judge ruled today that Shkreli must forfeit $7.36 million, part of which will come from boring assets that no one cares about, like an E-trade brokerage account, a Picasso painting, and an unreleased Lil Wayne album. More importantly, he will be giving up the Wu-Tang album, which he bought at auction in 2014 for $2 million, which was, according to a 2015 statement by Wu-Tang’s RZA, “well before Martin Shrkeli’s [sic] business practices came to light.”

    Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is a unique record: only one copy exists, in a silver-and-nickel-plated box with 174-page liner notes bound by hand in leather. By the terms of the sale, whoever owns the sole copy can legally do whatever they want with it, aside from releasing it commercially; there’s an 88-year ban on that. So the owner could hold exclusive listening parties or even release the album for free. It’s not clear whether the terms of the original purchase agreement can bind the government or any future buyer. Shkreli claimed to have already sold the album in September, but the buyer hasn’t stepped forward and it’s pretty unclear whether there was a hand-off. The government doesn’t care. It will take either the album or any proceeds.

    Don’t expect anyone to be able to get the album through an FOIA or another kind of information request because that’s not how it works. It will likely be auctioned to the highest bidder, right next to all the yachts and Porsches and Rolexes seized from less-hated crime-doers.

    There would be a kind of poetic justice for the Wu-Tang album to be set free and made freely available to the American public at large. Given, you know, that it’s being forfeited by a real-life Bret Easton Ellis character who built his fortune on an inhumane system that profits from the demand for life-saving drugs. But maybe the next owner of the album will be more pro-social and just upload the **** thing to the internet already.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #54
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    Cher returns

    We knew this already but as this has become newsworthy again, it has resurfaced.

    WU-TANG CLAN'S U-GOD
    Shkreli's Blocking World
    FROM HEARING CHER ON OUR ALBUM!!!

    3/6/2018 2:57 PM PST
    Wu-Tang Clan's U-God Says Cher Is On Unreleased 'Shaolin' Album
    EXCLUSIVE

    CHER ENTERED THE WU
    TMZ.com
    Do you believe in Cher collaborating with Redman and the Wu-Tang Clan?!? You should because U-God says it happened, but the feds gotta step in if the public's ever going to hear it.

    We got U-God out in NYC Tuesday and asked him about Martin Shkreli ... you know, the Pharma Bro who dropped $2 mil to buy Wu-Tang's top secret "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album in 2015. Well, feds have ordered Shkreli to hand over the album if he can't cover the $7.4 million he owes in restitution.

    He told us the record's packed with surprises -- like the Cher collab -- and he'd love to see it go on sale to the public, instead of just one person. U-God also hinted at some internal Wu beef about finances.

    Bottom line ... Cher ain't nuthin' to f**k wit!
    Gene Ching
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  10. #55
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    How much is it worth?

    It's worth this fun read of a thread, that's for sure.

    How Much Is Martin Shkreli’s One-of-a-Kind Wu-Tang Album Worth?
    By BEN SISARIO MARCH 9, 2018


    The rapper RZA of Wu-Tang Clan with the sole copy of the group’s album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” Credit Jamel Toppin/Forbes Collection, via Corbis, via Getty Images

    When Martin Shkreli, the disgraced former pharmaceuticals executive, is sentenced for securities fraud in Brooklyn on Friday, the government will have its pick of a number of his assets to satisfy the $7.36 million judgment against him.

    There is a brokerage account with $5 million in cash, shares in his company Vyera Pharmaceuticals, even a Picasso.

    And then there is an item that has been the subject of worldwide intrigue: the sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” packaged in a custom silver-and-nickel case and accompanied by a 174-page leather-bound book. It may be the most famous album ever kept in the possession of just one person.

    But what is it worth?

    The original price, set when Mr. Shkreli bought the album at auction three years ago, has never been publicly confirmed, though it has been reported — and stated more than once by Mr. Shkreli — as $2 million. If seized, the album would most likely be studied by government-appointed appraisers and offered at a public auction, said Charles A. Intriago, a former federal prosecutor who is an expert in financial crimes. (Prosecutors in Mr. Shkreli’s case have also asked a federal judge to sentence him to no less than 15 years in prison.)

    Determining the market value for “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” however, would be difficult, according to several experts in music memorabilia and art auctions contacted by The New York Times. Among the complications are the restrictions that the Wu-Tang Clan placed on the original sale and the bizarre twists in Mr. Shkreli’s stewardship. The experts all doubted that the album could yield anywhere near the $2 million it was apparently worth to Mr. Shkreli.

    For an item whose worth depends on its uniqueness and safekeeping, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” has a history that would probably worry any potential collector, said Jeff Gold, a top dealer in rock memorabilia through his store Recordmecca who appraised the Bob Dylan Archive for its sale to institutions in Tulsa, Okla.

    Have any copies been made? How has it been stored? How many people have heard it? All those questions could weigh on a sale. But Mr. Gold said an even greater concern was that last September, Mr. Shkreli offered the album on eBay, drawing bids of just over $1 million — half what he had supposedly paid for it. Mr. Shkreli was jailed in the midst of the auction and the sale was never consummated, but the low price and the canceled sale mean the album could now be tainted in the eyes of any serious collector.


    Martin Shkreli leaving federal court in Brooklyn during in his fraud trial last year. Credit Louis Lanzano for The New York Times

    “The bloom is off the rose,” Mr. Gold said.

    The album’s provenance, of course, is what made it so exceptional in the first place. At a time when artists worry that the digital economy has crushed the value of music, the Wu-Tang Clan — once hailed as the visionary kings of New York rap — decided to make “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” a one-of-a-kind art piece, wrapping it in mystery and pomp, and making its very release a statement about music’s worth.

    “We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done,” RZA, the group’s producer and chief spokesman, told Forbes.

    When the album was sold at auction in mid-2015, the buyer was kept secret and the price was given only as “in the millions.” At the time, Mr. Shkreli had little public profile, but that August — just as the deal was being finalized — he became an instant public villain for brazenly and unapologetically raising the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a rare disease from $13.50 a tablet to $750.

    Weeks later, Mr. Shkreli was identified as the buyer of “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” Wu-Tang fans were horrified, but watched with fascination as Mr. Shkreli streamed snippets of the album online.

    The album’s tangled history has only added to its fame, which might lift its value, according to Cyrus Bozorgmehr, who served as an adviser to the Wu-Tang Clan for the album’s release and wrote a book, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: The Untold Story of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Million-Dollar Secret Album, the Devaluation of Music, and America’s New Public Enemy No. 1.”

    “Now that it’s become this pop-cultural football, it’s got an even greater degree of notoriety,” Mr. Bozorgmehr said in an interview. “There are potentially some people out there who would place a lot of value on that.”

    According to Mr. Bozorgmehr, when Mr. Shkreli was arrested he even offered the album back to the Wu-Tang Clan. But the deal fell apart in negotiations because, Mr. Bozorgmehr said, “No one trusted Martin.”


    Mr. Shkreli listed “Once Upon A Time in Shaolin” on eBay, but the sale was never completed.

    In the sale contract, the Wu-Tang Clan prohibited the buyer from releasing it commercially for 88 years. The producers — RZA and Cilvaringz, a Dutch rapper and producer — also retain 50 percent of the album’s recording copyrights, according to Mr. Bozorgmehr, giving the group a level of control. (Mr. Shkreli has none of the songwriting rights, which are distinct.)

    For serious collectors, those conditions may be a deterrent, said Giles Moon, the consignment director for music memorabilia at Heritage Auctions.

    “If you’re buying with rights, then commercially there is a lot of potential,” Mr. Moon said. “But if you offer pieces without rights, whether in images, footage or recordings, then it’s severely diminished and limits the interest.”

    Mr. Intriago, the former prosecutor, said that with $5 million in cash, and other assets that may be easier to value, like the Picasso painting, the government might not seize the album, at least not to satisfy the $7.36 million criminal forfeiture order. (Among his listed assets is another mysterious piece of hip-hop history: a copy, in some form, of Lil Wayne’s long-delayed album “Tha Carter V.”)

    But there may be other penalties awaiting Mr. Shkreli.

    “If on Friday the judge sentences him and imposes a criminal fine, which is separate and distinct from the criminal forfeiture,” Mr. Intriago said, “then he may be required by her to make statements immediately as to when he is going to pay that fine. The judge is not going to let him get away with an I.O.U.”

    Such a fine would only increase the chances that “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” ends up in a government auction. Mr. Gold, who has sold rarities like vinyl copies of Prince’s withdrawn original “Black Album,” for upward of $15,000, said that despite all his doubts, anything could happen in an auction.

    “There are people,” he said, “for whom $1 million is a rounding error in their checking account.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  11. #56
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    7 years

    Martin Shkreli Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison
    "Pharma Bro" defrauded investors connected to his two hedge funds


    "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison for misleading and defrauding investors connected to his two hedge funds. Andrew Gombert/EPA/REX

    By Elias Leight
    2 hours ago

    Former pharmaceutical chief executive Martin Shkreli, known as the "pharma bro," was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday for defrauding investors and conspiring to manipulate stock prices, according to CNBC. Shkreli also raised the price of an important cancer drug by 5,000 percent. The sentence is still short of the 27 years recommended by federal guidelines.

    After being convicted of securities fraud, notorious "Pharma Bro" may have to hand over lone copy of 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin'

    Shrkeli will head to prison for misleading investors about the stock performance of his hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare. Shkreli's defense team requested a 12- to 18-month sentence after his conviction last year. According to Reuters, Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, called a 27-year-term "draconian and offensive."

    U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto referenced Shkreli’s "egregious multitude of lies" in her sentencing, according to the New York Times, noting that he "repeatedly minimized" his behavior. Shrkeli cried at the sentencing, saying, "I was never motivated by money. I wanted to grow my stature and my reputation. I am here because of my gross, stupid and negligent mistakes I made."

    "There are times when I want to hug him," his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the judge Friday. "There are times I want to punch him in the face because he’s made my job more difficult by some of the things he’s said."

    Shkreli has been in prison since September, when Matsumoto revoked his bail. At the time, Shkreli, who became notorious for social media stunts, posted on Facebook offering $5,000 to anyone who brought him a hair from Hillary Clinton. "That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment," Matsumoto said.

    Earlier this week, Judge Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to turn over more than $7 million in assets as he waited for his sentencing. This sum included Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, a famously unique album by the Wu-Tang clan, The Carter V, an unreleased Lil Wayne album allegedly in Shkreli's possession, a Pablo Picasso painting and shares in the company Vyera Pharmaceuticals.

    On Tuesday, Reuters reported that federal prosecutors asked Judge Matsumoto to sentence Shkreli to 15 years in prison. Lawyers described the former executive as "a man who stands before this court without any showing of genuine remorse."

    Shkreli wrote a letter to Judge Matsumoto saying he made "serious mistakes" in the past, but was "a good person with much potential."
    Wonder what prison he'll be going to...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Wonder what prison he'll be going to...
    Something tells me that Shkreli will probably be treated with relative kid gloves, and he'll come out of prison the same as he's going in. He'll still be a smirking, corpse-eyed psychopath.

  13. #58
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    I usually avoid posting satire news pieces...

    ... butt I just could NOT resist this one.

    Prison commissary increases lube price by 5000% ahead of Martin Shkreli’s arrival
    POSTED BY: DAVID MARRS MARCH 10, 2018



    The prison commissary has increased the price of all stocked lubricants by 5000% after learning that Martin Shkreli would be ‘fresh fish’ in the next couple of days.

    ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud and it sounds like he might have an extremely rough go at it in jail.

    The prison commissary – where prisoners can buy snacks, toiletries, cigarettes and other odds and ends – hiked up lube prices by 5000% when they heard the news.

    ‘We don’t believe it’s predatory to do this. We can use the increase in profits to research what happens to the human ******* when it’s repeatedly violated without lubrication,’ said Terry ‘Ramrod’ Rodriquez.

    Most prisoners simply won’t be able to afford lubricants at their new prices, and many will target Martin Shkreli as a result.

    ‘Lube is the lifeblood of any prison. If the supply dries up then there’s going to be a lot of friction around here and Martin Shkreli is the one who’ll pay,’ said one prisoner.

    Shkreli has been warned to walk with his back against the wall at all times.
    I feel ya on this one, Jimbo. In the end, it somewhat bums me out that our great nation wound up busting him for defrauding investors instead of milking patients with life-threatening diseases, but at least he'll do some time.
    Oh but ain't that America, for you and me
    Ain't that America, we're something to see baby
    Ain't that America, home of the free, yeah
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  14. #59
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    Sign this petition

    This story just keeps getting better and better. Kudos to the WU for this modern art masterpiece.

    Follow the link below and sign it please.

    The Department of Justice Should Release The Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin" For Free
    Created by Z.J. on March 09, 2018
    Sign This Petition
    Needs 99,951 signatures by April 8, 2018 to get a response from the White House

    49 SIGNED 100,000 GOAL
    From the New York Times:

    "Martin Shkreli, the disgraced former pharmaceuticals executive, was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud in Brooklyn on Friday, and a judge has ruled that the government will have its pick of his assets to satisfy the $7.36 million judgment against him..."

    His assets include, "the sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” packaged in a custom silver-and-nickel case and accompanied by a 174-page leather-bound book. It may be the most famous album ever kept in the possession of just one person."

    Since the Justice Department can now take possession of the album in the judgement, they should release it for free as punishment to Shkreli and give it to it's rightful owners: The American People.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #60
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    Jeff Sessions Loves The Secret Wu-Tang Clan Album

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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