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No Country for Old (Rap) Men: Why does Martin Shkreli think Wu-Tang is something to fuck wit?

Robbie weighs in on the back and forth happening between the Pharma Bro and the Wu

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A couple of days ago, Ghostface Killah posted a video aimed at Martin Shkreli, who has been apparently rejoicing in the media attention as a result of jacking up the price of AIDS treatment medication by 5000%; being charged with securities fraud; promising to post bail for Bobby Shmurda if he would record some songs for him; and purchasing the only existing copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin for two million clams so that no one else will have to endure it.

Shkreli, a 32-year-old from Brooklyn who has become obscenely rich through hedge fund hustling, seems to have a thirst for the spotlight by any means necessary. Whether he’s pleading the fifth before the US Congress, awkwardly hanging out with a VICE reporter or trolling Ghostface on TMZ (‘I butter your bread—you understand me?’) by demanding a written apology from Ironman for calling him ‘a shithead,’ ya boy Martin is definitely getting his face out there.

Having previously tweeted: “Ghost mad that Shaolin outsold his last 5 albums… dude’s a non-profit rapper. Calls himself Ironman, but sounds rusty AF” before dropping his ‘diss video’—complete with masked goons—Shkreli was clearly goading rap’s Tony Starks in the hope that he might be the subject of a rant on par with GFK’s hilarious Action Bronson diatribe from last year.

Ghost clearly had no choice but to respond, and while the video contains a couple of amusing quips (‘the man with a twelve-year-old body’), it’s more focused on blatantly promoting the flavoured hash oil Wu Goo that he and Killah Priest are currently hawking.  Before long they’re joined by three ‘goons,’ two of which are apparently Dennis Cole’s relatives (although the YouTube account that posted the clip states in the comments: “FOR THE RECORD THAT IS NOT GHOSTFACE’S MOTHER OR SISTER”).

So the crying lady who states that “one drop of this is saving my life” while holding a bottle of Wu Goo is an actress? And what does flavoured hash oil have to do with AIDS medicine anyway? By the end of the video, we’re informed that Wu Goo “Combats tumors and cancer cells, reduces seizures, combats depression and reduces blood sugar levels”. At what point did Ghostface decide to abandon the bathrobe and become a snake-oil salesman?

This is one of those situations where everyone loses. Shkreli is clearly a complete fuckyberg—that much is clear—but his comments regarding the album he copped for two milli may be completely justified, especially when you consider the fact that it’s just a compilation recorded over six years by third tier Wu associate Cilvaringz. Not only were none of the featured Wu-Tang members aware that they were contributing to an alleged official Wu-Tang project, but the packaging features artwork jacked from a blog without permission of the artist, which has resulted in a lawsuit after Shkreli allowed several of the portraits to be published. The real tragedy to come out of this is that Martin’s video is actually funnier than Ghost’s reply. Who wants to live in a world where some white-collar schmuck is able to make a more entertaining diss video than the guy who was involved with making ‘Shark Niggas (Biters)’?  

Keep up with Robbie’s weekly ‘No Country for Old (Rap) Men’ here.

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