Government photos show sacred desecration of Wu-Tang clan’s unique album

When the US Marshals sold the Wu-Tang Clan’s only album Once upon a time in Shaolin last year, he noted in the bill of sale that he was returning the album “as is”. As anyone who has bought anything second-hand online will tell you, “as is” is the code for “beat to shit”. From government photos of Once upon a time in Shaolin obtained by Motherboard following a Freedom of Information Act request, the album and its various containers had been brutally treated.

The US Marshals seized pharma-bro Martin Shkreli’s album and sold it on July 27, 2021 to help cover the cost of the restitution Shkreli owed in a 2017 conviction for securities fraud. Authorities were left speechless as to why they sold it and to whom, but a lawyer who facilitated the transaction listened to part of the album and told Motherboard that it was a certified banger. It turns out that a cryptocurrency collective is distributing NFT shares and other collectibles for sale as investment opportunities paid $ 4 million for the album. Shkreli had paid $ 2 million at auction.

A Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the transaction returned an official (and seemingly rather official) bill of sale from the US Marshals, a drafted contract detailing the sale, and 54 photographs that give the review on more depth of the album and its contacts still. According to the sales contract, Once upon a time in Shaolin included “audio recording on 2 CDs”, as well as an outer box which is a “cedar wood box covered in black cowhide leather with a light beige velvet lining”.

There was also an inner box – a “nickel-silver box and an inner case containing two CDs, on cedar wood with a black cowhide lining”:

And a “leather-bound lyric book containing lithographs depicting original works of art and photographs of band members“:

And a “leather folder with gold-lead certificate of authenticity”:

And a “leather file with contract and purchase contract, about 30 pages”:

The photos give us a wonderful overview of the album and its contents, but they are also redacted, so as not to reveal too much. (The FOIA provision cited by federal authorities in the editorial files covers “trade secrets and business or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential ”, which may in fact apply here.) The tracklist, lyric book parts and the CDs themselves have been covered with a large white block. The boxes also look rough. The outer box has scratches in the leather. There is a large divot at the top left of the Wu-Tang symbol of the icon exposing the cedar box below.

The nickel silver plated inner box is tarnished. Various pieces of the case change color. The jewelry case is covered in fingerprints believed to be left by the paws of Pharma Bro and his minions and various federal agents. Someone or more in the long chain of custody from Wu-Tang to Shkreli to the Feds have left deep impressions on Once upon a time in Shaolin.

It seems his new owners are at least treating him with the respect he deserves. In a glossy photoshoot with Rolling stone, they manage Once upon a time in Shaolin with surgical gloves. The inner nickel silver box appears to have been restored. Photos of the leather-covered outer box are not displayed and it is not known what shape it is in now.

According to the contact, buyers cannot make digital copies of the album and they must agree to the terms of Shkreli’s original purchase agreement. This means the general public won’t be hearing this album anytime soon. The new owners cannot sell it back to Shkreli either.

“In no event will they allow the assets to revert to Martin Shkreli and the buyers will not allow Martin Shkreli to receive any benefit, direct or indirect, from the sale of the assets, other than the benefit conferred by the ordinances. of confiscation applying the proceeds of the sale to its pending confiscation judgment ”, indicates the sales contract.

It’s a small victory to know that Shkreli will no longer leave footprints on Once upon a time in Shaolin.

Comments are closed.