July 17, 2018 / 10:47 PM

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Photographer Sues Wu-Tang Clan For Unauthorized Artwork Use In One-Of-A-Kind Album



Legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan is in a serious trouble. A photographer is suing the hip-hop act for Once Upon A Time in Shaolin.

The plaintiff, Warren Patterson, said he worked on the one-of-a-kind album for 80 hours or more than three days to shoot the silver case of the album with the group's logo on it. However, he claimed Wu-Tang Clan refused to pay him for his work.

In legal documents obtained by The Blast, Patterson named Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God, GZA, and RZA Raekwon as defendants. Dutch record producer Clivaringz was also dragged into the lawsuit as well as the auction house that sold the album.

Wu-Tang War

Patterson said that his work was used as the album cover without his knowledge. He is seeking at least $1 million in damages. 

"The infringing copies of the Plaintiff's works [were] delivered to a law office in New York County, New York by mail or courier service to be picked up by a purchaser named Martin Shkreli," Patterson claims. 

The "Pharma Bro," who became the poster boy of corporate evil, was able to acquire the album for $2 million back in 2015. He has since been ordered by the court to surrender the album to the authorities as well as some other priced possessions as part of his sentencing for securities fraud.

A representative for Method Man told The Blast that the rapper neither select nor authorize the use of the photo on the album.

Shaolin's Troubled History

Since the time it was sold to Shkreli, Once Upon A Time in Shaolin has been a controversial topic. The former head of Turing Pharmaceuticals bragged about possessing the album and most notoriously, offered to play it for Taylor Swift in exchange for sexual favors. He also often clashed with RZA regarding the entrepreneurs' unethical business practices.

Recently, the rapper revealed that he attempted to acquire the album back from Shkreli. The fate of the album has remained unknown. If Shkreli failed to sell the album on eBay last year, fans will likely see it sold in an auction alongside other properties seized by the government.

Family Feud

In other news, RZA has responded to the Wu-Tang Clan memoir written and published by U-God. In Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang, the rapper called RZA, the mastermind of the group, a "control freak" who trademarked the group's name and charged franchise fees to its own members. U-God also said that RZA was not very supportive of anyone's solo careers.

In an interview, RZA addressed the claims.

"Look, every man has a right to write a book," he said in an interview ahead of an upcoming tour. "Some books are fiction and some books are nonfiction. Some are myths, some are fantasy, some are sci-fi — I don't know if this book falls totally in nonfiction."

Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang is now available from major bookstores. 

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