“It Was in The Wrong Hands” : RZA Regrets Selling Wu-Tang Clan’s One-of-One Album to Martin Shkreli

The Wu-Tang Clan co-founder discusses the winding history of the group’s one-of-a-kind 2014 album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

Earlier this month, a crypto collective known as PleasrDAO came forward as the previously-anonymous winning bidder of Wu-Tang Clan‘s one-of-one album, Once Upon a Time In Shaolin. And while it’s a moment of celebration for both fans and the crypto community, the reveal drudged not-too-distant memories of a time when one of the world’s most remarkably shitty people had taken up ownership of the album as a pretty random flex.

Seven years removed from the whole Martin Shkreli incident and with the album under new custody, Wu-Tang co-founder, RZA, is finally opening up about the unfortunate outcome of the original sale, his role in it, and what he’d hoped to do with it once a worthy owner surfaced. In a new interview with Ebro, Rosenberg, and Laura Styles, on Hot 97 today, the Abbot spoke candidly of how he regretted the Pharmo-bro-turned-felon winding up with the one-of-a-kind project, especially when he realized so many “great ideas” about what could have been done with the album seemed impossible under his Shkreli’s ownership, especially once it became clear he’d by behind bars until further notice.

“It was in the wrong hands,” RZA told the venerable radio crew. “He made the deal before it was revealed of his character, of his personality, and all of the insidious things he would go on to do,” the legendary hip-hop multi-hyphenate adds. RZA goes on to discuss some of his original intentions for the album, including museum installations and album listening experiences, which he claims “were not going to be able to happen with Mr. Shkreli.” But he remains optimistic the new regime will ultimately allow for at least some of his original design to come to fruition. “Now that PleasrDAO has it, there’s opportunity that a lot these beautiful ideas of what this art can be and how it could expand itself in the world and in its own life of itself, I think the possibilities are there now.”

Watch RZA discuss the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin below.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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