Martin Shkreli loves making a stink, and he will do it at almost any cost. The US's most reviled pharmaceutical company executive yesterday offered $10 million to exclusively buy Kanye West's new album, The Life of Pablo. He tweeted a copy of his offer letter to the pop star, and followed up that Kanye must by law consider the offer and, thus, delay his album's release.
Kanye, who loves outrageous statements but only if he makes them, appears unmoved by Shkreli's claims or offer. He said that TLOP (which some have affectionately dubbed Tomatoes, Lettuce, Onion, Pickles) will be released today, according to BillBoard.
Shkreli on the Law
Shkreli is out of work and under federal investigation so he must have a lot of time. He wrote yesterday that Kanye is obligated to consider his offer and take it to his record label's Board of Directors, but he seems to deeply misunderstand the law, culture, and Kanye.
Although a serious offer must be made known to all deciding parties, like the record label's board, a last-minute offer to shelf an album release and save it for one rich maniac, probably does not qualify. First, Shkreli doesn't know Kanye's deal with his label, and second, the album release is tied to other contracts and contingencies, such as promotion, so Shkreli's offer to buy an album to keep it secret goes against Kanye's goal of world domination. It was too little, too late, and not what Kanye wants.
Entering a Contract
Legally speaking, an offer does not make a contract. A contract is formed with an offer, its acceptance, and consideration. That means the parties agree on the terms and exchange something of symbolic value to seal the deal. In this situation, all that happened was that Shkreli made an offer that Kanye ignored because he was busy.
TLOP and Yeezy Season 3
For Kanye, there is more to his album's release than just another source of money. Kanye doesn't need cash -- even more than Shkreli, Yeezy desperately needs our attention, and does much to get it.
Kanye has a lot going on -- fashion shows, marriage to the nation's reality television queen, album releases, and much more. He is releasing TLOP as a follow up to his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show, which took place yesterday and Shkreli was clearly just jumping on the Yeezy bandwagon.
The pharma bro has enjoyed the attention that came with his association to the Wu-Tang Clan (just this week Ghostface Killah came out with a Shkreli diss video, for example). He has made himself enemies among the aged and infirm for drug price hikes, and is widely despised among younger people for his sole ownership of the Wu Tang Clan's Album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which he said he bought to keep from the people.