Is this a pharma feud or a rap beef?
Legendary rapper Ghostface Killah on Tuesday unleashed a brutal video response to pharma bad boy Martin Shkreli, who in his own profane video last month demanded that the Wu-Tang Clan member "apologize" for insulting him.
Ghostface's 11-minute-plus video featured clips of "Batman" episodes, CNBC graphics about Shkreli's controversial drug price hike, a Hillary Clinton speech, a picture of Shkreli made to look like Pee Wee Herman — and a promo for Ghostface's own marijuana-derived "Wugoo CBD OIL," which supposedly combats tumors and cancer cells, according to the clip.
And along the way, Ghostface Killah and a "posse" of middle-age women demand that Shkreli lower the price of his anti-parasite drug Daraprim on the YouTube video entitled "Ghostface Killah KILLS Martin Shkreli (Verbally, Politically, & Emotionally)."
"Apologize to who?" Ghostface snapped on the video, when reminded by an associate about "this clown" Shkreli's demand. "Who is this dude I never seen before in my life?"
"This fake Peter Pan cat," said Ghostface. "Yo, man, you hilarious man. You must be on Ritalin or something. You a fake-a-- super-villain."
Ghostface called out Shkreli for hiking Daraprim's prices from $13.50 to $750 per pill, a more than 5,000 percent increase that the rapper said was endangering the lives of the AIDS patients and pregnant women who suffer from toxoplasmosis, the infection that the drug combats.
"People can't pay that much man," Ghostface said. "You a real killer man, you're a real killer. But you're a soft killer," Ghostface quips. "Youse a clown."
"You ain't been through nothing ... you never been in the crib with welfare cheese and fried bologna and all that stuff like that for dinner at night."
One of the trio of women who Ghostface brought in toward the end of the video said: "Look, Martin, if you was my son, I'd whip you a--. I'd give you an a---whupping, because what you're doing is so foul."
"I need to put you over my knee," another woman said to the camera.
The video ends with clips of Shkreli appearing before a congressional committee investigating drug prices last week, where he refused to testify and smirked as congressmen tried to ask him questions.
Shortly after Ghostface's video was posted online Shkreli responded on Twitter.
"The format of your apology was unacceptable, @GhostfaceKillah," Shkreli tweeted.
"The consequences will never be the same. (Also, stop making medical claims.)" he tweeted, referring to the claims Ghostface's video made about the supposed benefits of CBD oil. At the end of the video, the oil is called "Revolutionary Hearing" on a graphic, which refers to it reducing seizures, combating anxiety and depression, and reducing blood and sugar levels.
Ghostface's video is the latest iteration of an ongoing beef with Shkreli, which relates only tangentially to the former pharma executive's legal problems in New York federal court, where he is charged with securities fraud. Shkreli has said he is innocent of those criminal charges.
Shkreli, 32, is an avid fan of hip-hop and the Wu-Tang Clan. Last year he shelled out an astounding $2 million for the only copy of the group's album, "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin."
Shkreli, who was already suffering withering public criticism for raising Daraprim's price, made himself even more unpopular after his purchase was revealed by saying he had never listened to the full album and had no plans to let the public hear it.
Ghostface later teed off on Shkreli, calling him a "s---head" for hiking the drug's price during an interview with TMZ, and saying Shkreli was "crazy."
Shkreli then fired back on Twitter, his favorite forum for insulting his many critics, saying that Ghostface Killah "sounds rusty" on the Shaolin album, and "Don't cry, Ghost. All rap careers come to an eventual end." Ghostface responded days later to TMZ by referring to Shkreli as "the Michael Jackson nose kid."
Then, Shkreli made a video surrounded by three masked goons. On that video, Shkreli called Ghostface "my son," threatened to erase the Shaolin abum and "you from the record books of rap."
"I expect you to write a written apology from the heart," Shkreli said.
Last week, during an interview with a New York hip-hop radio station, Shkreli said Ghostface "disrespected me" and that "If he were here right now, I'd smack him right in the face."
On Tuesday, a New York artist sued Shkreli, claiming that the illustrations in the album were only intended to appear on a Wu-Tang Clan fan website.
Last week, while appearing before Congress, Shkreli invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by refusing to answer questions about the purchase of the album.