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A Meeting of the (Inflated) Minds: Yeezy vs. Martin Shkreli

Pharma bro and Kanye take an ego trip to the Twittersphere

Every once in a while, if we’re lucky, the most tender and intimate of dramas play out among the stars in the celestial sphere of Twitter, and we—the little people—are privy to a glimpse into the real life dilemmas of celebrity. Last Thursday Martin Shkreli, the ex-CEO of a pharmaceuticals company who hiked the price of an HIV medication by 5,000% (also known as “the most hated man in America”), offered Kanye West $10 million not to release his new album, The Life of Pablo, to the public. In a formal request letter posted to Twitter, Shkreli requested that Yeezy sell Pablo to him alone, so that he, Shkreli, could enjoy the album all for himself. Kanye, however, did not seem to find the offer sufficiently appealing (not surprising, considering the $25 million he made on his Yeezus tour) and proceeded to drop his album Saturday night in a performance on SNL—at which point Shkreli discovered he had made a grave mistake, and turned to Twitter, his bosom friend and confidante, to air his woes.

“WHO THE FUCK HAS MY FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS ?????????????????????????????????????”

“I NEED MY MONEY BACK THIS ISNT A FUCKING JOKE WTF”

“SOMEONE NAMED DAQUAN SAID HE WAS KANYES BOY AND I SIGND THE DEAL TO BUY PALBO AND SENT THE BITCOIN. CALL THE POLICE THIS IS BULSHIT”

Just before Shkreli brought his newly discovered money plights to the Internet’s attention, Kanye, while waiting to perform on SNL, confided his own cash flow quandaries to Twitter. 

“I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome… This is my true heart…” 

The following day he proceeded to beseech Mark Zuckerberg on Twitter to invest $1 billion in “Kanye West ideas,” (along with an afterthought shout out to Larry Page), and while there’s no word on whether Zuckerberg responded, Kanye has since tweeted that he’s been overwhelmed by calls from “billionaires and hedge fund guys.” So we can all rest easy that, aside from his $22 million income combined with his wife’s earnings of $53 million last year, Yeezy will now have enough supplemental funds to buy some spaghetti and a can of marina for dinner tonight in he and Kim’s $20 million Hidden Hills mansion. Or, if not—he could always dip into North West’s $10 million 21st birthday fund. 

If there’s anything pleasant to be taken from all of this, it’s the knowledge that in the solar system of the Twittersphere, it would seem that Fame is the sun around which these planet-sized egos spin, and If Kanye is Earth—actually, let’s make Kanye Mars—then Martin Shkreli is merely one of Mars’ tiny moons. Let’s say he’s Phobos, the moon named after a character in Greek mythology synonymous with “panic.” It seems appropriate. Shkreli wanted so badly to believe he was relevant to Kanye West that he handed over $15 million to a rando named Daquan with no apparent legitimacy other than a claim that he was Kanye’s “boy,” and Kanye thinks he’s relevant enough to request a billion dollars on Twitter from a very private, notoriously unfashionable billionaire to reimburse himself for the $40 million he’s spent on his supremely neutral-toned fashion line. The good news is that both of them are clearly living very far from planet Earth.

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