The saga of Martin Shkreli seemed to be a rather simple tale of a money hungry bro with dead eyes and a propensity for making money from human suffering – but that was only the beginning of his origin story.
So, unfortunately, we all likely know who Martin Shkreli is by now. The Brooklyn-born, short drink of Elmer’s Glue, rose to fame when news outlets began to report on an abrupt and exponential raise on a vital AIDS medication, Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750.00 a pill. It turns out Shkreli was the force behind this increase and, in response, Shkreli, -a man with, undoubtedly, one of the most innately punchable mugs on the planet- began to embrace his new-found villain status—reveled in it even.
Since those days, Shkreli made headlines when news came out that it was he who purchased the $2 million dollar, one-of-a-kind Wu Tang album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. When the public expressed outrage and disappointment at the news that the newly inaugerated, most-hated man in America was the only person who would get to hear this new Wu Tang project, he responded thusly:
Within 10 years, more than half of all rap/hip-hop music will be made exclusively for me. Don't worry–I will share some of it.
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) December 13, 2015
His next moment in the spotlight was when he took to Twitter to vent his frustration about being refused a meeting with Bernie Sanders after donating $2700 to his campaign. When the Sanders campaign was made aware of his donation they, re-donated it to charity, which made Shkreli furious. How furious you ask?
SO ANGRY AT @BernieSanders I COULD PUNCH A WALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 18, 2015
Punch a wall furious.
This is such bullshit. pic.twitter.com/t0Hgx8xdmy
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 19, 2015
It was shortly after this that Shkreli was arrested and charged with securities fraud – and was subsequently released on a $5million bond. While awaiting trial he expertly built upon his nearly cartoonish level of villainy and stepped ever further into Lex Luthor territory by stating that he may either destroy Once Upon a Time in Shaolin –or hide it so no one else can hear it.
Wu Tang leader, RZA has stated, “he bought it, he can do what he wants.” But Ghostface Killah wanted it to be known that he was not on board with Shkreli owning the album -although, one would assume he profited quite well from the sale- and referred to the Shkreli as a “wonky Michael Jackson”.
Shkreli responded as any B movie villain with a body akin to an anthropomorphic snowman would -by tweeting:
Ghost mad that Shaolin outsold his last 5 albums… dude’s a non-profit rapper. Calls himself ironman, but sounds rusty AF @GhostfaceKillah
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) January 22, 2016
It seems as though things are just getting started and Shkreli is only beginning to embrace his position as a cliched super villain. He further responded to Ghostface’s insults with a video (below) featuring Shkreli surrounded by a cadre of masked men hurling insults and chugging liquor, while Shkreli himself sips on some red wine to punctuate his statements. The video is an all-out threat to Ghostface Killah. Shkreli refers to Ghost by his government name, Dennis in a very derogatory fashion and declares,
“people don’t beef with me…because nobody is that dumb”
“for whatever reason you think it’s OK to beef with me…at the end of the day I feel sorry for you, you’re an old man.”
He then threatens to erase Ghost’s verses from One Upon a Time in Shaolin.
“You’re trying to reclaim the spotlight from my spotlight.”
“…and you’re crying to the Jake right away.”
“Why are your goons not as hard as mine?”
“Without me, you’re nothing.”
The video ends with Shkreli going full on new-age Joffrey looking into the camera and stating,”don’t ever f*#king mention my name again, or there will be more of a price to pay than just this video. I’m out.”