weekend links: price gouging, Killer Mike, Mumbai murder

Hema Upadhyay
Hema Upadhyay

Hema Upadhyay, 8 feet by 12 feet (2009). Image appears courtesy of All Art News/Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai.

Martin Shkreli made headlines earlier this year for exorbitantly raising the prices of life-saving drugs and being a total asshat about it. Most of us thought that would be the first and last time we'd ever hear of him—but we were wrong. The "sociopath" price gouger got arrested earlier this week, which made many people on Facebook very happy. He also turned out to be the mystery man who spent $2 million on the Wu-Tang Clan's legendary one-of-a-kind album. Shkreli is apparently a "hip-hop aficionado"; he expressed interest in bailing out Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda and helping him put out an album, but that was before he paid $5 million on his own bail, so who knows. Either way, something tells me this won't be the last we see of Martin Shkreli. [Vanity Fair]

Speaking of price gougers, Narrative Magazine founder Tom Jenks has drawn the ire of writers everywhere with the announcement of his $225 book, A Poetics of Fiction, currently on sale for $199—just in time for the holiday season. Narrative is infamous in the literary world for charging $23 for submissions, which is outrageous. But, as this essay points out, this is only offensive by a matter of degree. Jenks's non-profit tax statements indicate that he makes over $100,000 per year as "President and CEO" of Narrative. We at fields charge nothing to submit, receive no salaries for the work that we do, and are always happy to read your submissions—so please, send us your pieces! [medium]

Killer Mike is best known for his rapping, both solo and as one-half of the critically acclaimed hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. But he is also a passionate activist, and he recently put together a six-part interview with Bernie Sanders. The hip-hop world has a storied history of supporting civic engagement, and regardless of who you support for this upcoming election, it's always nice to see stars using their fame to turn attention toward social issues. [Rolling Stone]

More on hip-hop: Erykah Badu, when she's not photobombing news reports or putting out killer remixes, apparently works as a doula. Is there anything this woman can't do? "If you put me on Pluto, I can figure it out," she says. I believe her. [Pitchfork]

The art world was shaken earlier this week when Indian artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer were found murdered in Mumbai. Upadhyay's claustrophobic city-inspired art had been displayed at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and in galleries around the world. Some of her work can be viewed here. Our condolences to her family, and may her killer be brought to swift justice. [The Indian Express]

The 2015 roundups continue, and if you haven't checked out artsy's, you should do so. They've put together a comprehensive list of some of the year's most noteworthy artists, exhibits, news stories, and more. A lot of this is big-name stuff out of New York and London, so consider it your chance to catch up on what's happening in certain circles—and how much good artwork those circles tend to miss. [artsy]

Speaking of comprehensive, Tabs Out has put out a list of their 200 favorite tapes of 2015. I confess that I haven't heard a single tape on this list, but if you're feeling adventurous or just looking for inspiration, here's some proof that the cottage industry of cassette production is still going strong. [Tabs Out]

—Sean Redmond

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