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We may have Kanye West to blame for ‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli was “inspired” by Kanye West’s “The College Dropout.” (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

Martin Shkreli, the former Turing Pharmaceuticals chief executive whose AIDS drug price hike earned him notoriety and widespread scorn, wants to buy Kanye West’s new album that the rapper premiered Thursday at Madison Square Garden and keep it all for himself.

“I have been a tremendous fan of your music for many years,” Shkreli wrote in a letter to West. “Specifically, the album ‘The College Dropout’ inspired me to succeed at a young age.”

Oh. Oh, dear.

Remember that Shkreli — who was arrested for securities fraud and has also come under congressional scrutiny — bought an exclusive, single-issue Wu-Tang Clan album. He has since been sued by the Wu-Tang fan artist who created the cover art; that album could get released, anyway; and he’s also earned himself a Ghostface Killah diss track.

Given that his previous purchase didn’t end so well, it’s sort of weird to try and get back into the buy-the-exclusive-rights-to-a-hip-hop-album business. Maybe he just likes not being liked? (Actually, no ‘maybe’ about that.)


Why is this ‘bro’ smiling? The many smirks of Martin Shkreli.

Your guide to the Kanye West Twitter fury unleashed on Wiz Khalifa

My Tinder date with ‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli