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Photo Credit: Al Pereira for Getty.

Popa Wu, Mentor to the Wu-Tang Clan, Passes Away

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Photo Credit: Al Pereira for Getty.

Popa Wu previously appeared on Raekwon's "North Star" and Ghostface Killah's "Black Jesus."

According to various sources close to the situation, Popa Wu, a member of the Five Percent Nation and mentor to the Wu-Tang Clan passed away. It’s not clear how he passed away or when. But he was 63 years old. Jimmy Kang, vice-president of Wu-Tang Management and Clan members Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God and GZA expressed their condolences on social media. Pete Rock and DJ Premier also responded to the news. 

Although he has appeared on numerous songs, Popa Wu acting as more of a spiritual guide to the group then a rapper, with Five Percent Nation teachings heavily influencing his perspective. 

He first appeared on Raekwon’s “North Star,” off of Rae’s classic debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx

Over the years, he made additional appearances, with his trademark spoken-word style. He appeared on “Black Jesus” and “All That I Got Is You” from Ghostface Killah’s debut Ironman.

He also made an appearance on the intro of Wu-Tang Forever.  In 2000, he released an album called Visions of the 10th Chamberfeaturing a number of Clan affiliates.

Popa Wu made headlines in 2015 when a video and image of him confronting Action Bronson over his feud with Ghostface Killah went viral. He later said the whole exchange got taken out of proportion: 

What they did was, they took a shot of me and him standing there...And you see my hands are behind my back at every position. I’m not yelling at him. I’m talking to him like a father talks to his son, like, ‘You gotta be careful with what you say.’ I was just talking to that brother...They blew it out of proportion.

In the spring of 2019, the corner of West 126th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard was officially co-named “Allah & Justice Five Percenters Square.” Popa Wu reflected on the Nation’s teachings at the unveiling ceremony.

Popa Wu is survived by two sons, who previously rapped under the names ShaCronz and Freemurda.