Martin Shkreli, the “Pharma Bro” best known for jacking up the price of a drug that could potentially save millions of lives, apparently doesn’t just want people to remain ill anymore; his latest action has made it clear he doesn’t want people to enjoy music either. That said, Shkreli says otherwise, claiming he has a very good reason for what he’s doing now, which is trying to buy Kanye West’s new album.
On Thursday, Shkreli offered West $10 million for his new album, The Life of Pablo, which is set to be released today, February 12 (West hasn’t said what time or where). Shkreli posted the letter of offer on Twitter, which states that Shkreli would receive the only copy of the album, which would therefore not be released to the public. He also claims that even if Kanye didn’t take the offer, his letter would be legally required to go to the Board of Directors and thereby delay the album by a few days; we’ll know by the end of the day if this claim is true.
This actually isn’t the first time Martin Shkreli has pulled a similar stunt, having bought the only existing copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million, though that album was always intended to only have one copy while Kanye West’s was planned for a wide release. There’s also the matter of how Shkreli would pay Kanye, given the fact that he’s currently out on a $5 million bond for his charge of securities fraud; most of his net worth is tied to stocks from a company under bankruptcy protection and the IRS and New York State both say he owes them for unpaid taxes.
So, why did Martin Shkreli offer Kanye West $10 million for The Life of Pablo? The most popular reason is likely that he’s just a jackass and a troll who wants to screw people over one more time in case he faces jail time for any of his current charges. However, the man argues otherwise on Twitter saying, “The point is NOT to keep music from people, it’s to remind everyone how important and central it is in our lives,” and that “Lots of articles about the $10m West offer, but none when I gave a number of failing punk rock bands a new lease on life with $50,000.” It’s also possible he wants the album as some sort of collateral for his current financial and legal woes; as if the Wu-Tang album isn’t back-up enough.