Martin Shkreli, the wealthy Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO, has revealed plans to bail fellow Brooklyn, New York native Bobby Shmurda out of jail.
Shmurda, real name Ackquille Jean Pollard, has been locked up in Rikers Island since he was taken into custody on December 17, 2014, along with 12 other members of his GS9 crew.
The rapper was charged with conspiracy, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and criminally using drug paraphernalia. His bail is set at $2 million.
As we previously reported, Shmurda’s family attempted to bail him out earlier this month, but the judge in the case rejected their bond package.
Enter Shkreli, an avid hip hop fan who recently purchased the Wu Tang Clan’s secret album, “Once Upon a Time In Shaolin,” for $2 million.
In a new interview with HipHopDX, Shkreli said he hoped to free Bobby, with a few business strings attached.
I’m a fan and I’m a business man. I’m not going to do this for free. [Laughs] He’s going to have to do something for me. I don’t know what that’s going to look like yet. He’s going to owe me one, obviously. I’d like to pay for his legal defense as well. I’m a big fan but also I’m an opportunist. You know that. I see an opportunity here. He’s a talented guy. Every concert I go to, people yell “Free Shmurda.” He reminds me of me, quite frankly. The guy’s totally irreverent. He doesn’t give a damn what people think. Totally irreverent. Totally I don’t give a f*ck. I love him. I just love that style. He’s from not far from where I’m from in Brooklyn. I’d love to help him out. I wish someone would have helped me out when I needed help. He doesn’t have much money, I know that. He’s definitely hurting for money. He needs a bailout, basically. I’d like to help him out. No big promises, but I’ll see what I can do. Like I said, if I can post the $2 million, I’d do it tomorrow. I’m working on it and hopefully we’ll see him free soon.
It’s a mix. Look, the guy’s going to have to record for me if he comes out. I’ll just come out and say it. If I’m gonna post his bail, pay for his trial, get him a “Not Guilty” verdict… With the right lawyer it’s just a matter of money. I see opportunity. The guy’s going to be more popular when he’s out. The guy probably didn’t do sh!t. He was trying to turn to a new chapter in his life and the old sh!t is coming up and hurting him. He’s New York’s best chance for rap since 50 Cent. It’s not a lot of money for me. Spend a couple million on his defense, a couple million on bail and I’ll get the bail money back real quick. So a million or two for his defense, which is probably $4 million in total, I’m willing to put towards his defense. I don’t do olive branches. I’m doing something for him, the same way I felt I was doing something for the Wu-Tang Clan. And I’m doing something for me. If people benefit from that, listeners, then that’s great, but that’s not my primary concern. First is him. Second is me. Third is everyone else. Everyone wins. It’s a win-win-win. The only loser is the f*cking FEDs that want to see a f*cking kid sit in jail for no reason because his lawyers can’t f*cking get his act together. That’s what’s going on with that.
While there is no doubt that Shkreli has the financial means to make this happen, he is somewhat of a controversial character.
In September the 32-year old pharmaceutical kingpin received negative worldwide criticism when his company hiked up the price of the drug, Daraprim, which treats potentially life-threatening parasitic infections, from $13.50 to $750 per pill, overnight.
“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” Shkreli said at the time. “This is still one of the smallest pharmaceutical products in the world. It really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this.”
Whatever the case, this is great news for Bobby. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything will work out and he’ll be back with his family and making music again soon.