Wu Tang Vs. Martin Shkreli: Rap’s Weirdest Feud

By Amber Healy

Last year, Martin Shkreli gained some notoriety for purchasing the one and only copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the new and super-secret album from Wu-Tang Clan. It was probably a really bad decision: he seems to hate Ghostface Killah, and the feeling appears mutual.

Shkreli—whose became a public pariah and pharmaceutical villain #1 for his decision to start charging $750 for a life-saving drug that had previously cost just $13.50 a dose, a move he later somewhat backed off from, and who just last week was seen making a series of smug faces during a congressional hearing on securities fraud—stars in a really bizarre video, surrounded by three men, faces fully covered. Apparently, he’s less than pleased that Ghostface, or “Dennis” as Shkreli calls him, openly hates Shkreli, both for the price gouging and for being the person who bought the album.

“For whatever reason you think it’s ok to beef with me, but that’s a big mistake,” Shkreli says in the two-and-a-half-minute video. “You’re an old man… trying to reclaim the spotlight from my spotlight.” He also threatens to destroy the album if Ghostface doesn’t issue a handwritten, “from the heart” 500-word letter, “where you explain your sorrow and sadness for what you’ve done.”

Sipping and swirling wine or brandy from a stemless glass, Shkreli continues to demean and insult Ghostface, in a snide and condescending voice, going so far as to ask Ghostface why his “goons” aren’t as tough as Shkreli’s, pointing out that another Clan member, Killah Priest, tried to make a deal with police after being arrested for cocaine possession.

“Be real, as your video once said, and don’t ever f***ing mention my name again,” he threatens.

Ghostface previously called Shkreli a “shithead” to TMZ, launching this little lovefest.

Now he’s firing back. In a new nearly 12-minute-long video posted Tuesday, Ghostface takes Shkreli to task and rips him apart, point by point.

“You a fake-ass supervillain,” Ghostface says, calling Shkreli’s goons “Snap, Crackle and Pop.”

“I don’t even know how it came to this, it’s like Ghost vs Peter Pan,” he says. “Money don’t make you a man, brother.”

Ghostface includes a screenshot of Shkreli’s pharmaceutical misdeeds, pointing out that Shkreli’s the “real killer” here, jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of people who couldn’t afford the medication after he hiked the price.

Oh, he splices in a clip of Hillary Clinton talking about the price hike too, in addition to some footage of Shkreli during the congressional hearing.

There’s also a nice table display of WuGoo gear, including some CBD oil he’s selling online claiming it might help fight cancer, reduce seizures and combat depression.

Ghostface offers to work with “Martin” to help people, then brings in three women who continue to berate Shkreli. One goes so far as to say Shkreli needs to be spanked for misbehaving.

But that’s not all for Shkreli: He’s also facing a lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, claiming that the Wu-Tang album he purchased contains artwork that was stolen from the creator.

Reuters reports that Jason Koza, the artist who supplied a series of images, “never allowed his fan art depicting Wu-Tang members to be used in packaging” for the album. Instead, he believed the work would appear on WuDisciples.blogspot.com, a website related to the group. He blames RZA for putting the works in the album packaging and Shkreli for using three of the nine pieces, featuring Inspectah Deck, Raekwon and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, in a January 29 article on Vice.com. Koza is seeking unspecified damage for the unlicensed use of his work.

[AC: And it just keeps getting weirder. Watch this this.]

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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