RIP Popa Wu — Wu-Tang Clan 'OG' And Longtime Adviser Passes Away At Age 63

Rest in peace, Popa Wu.

How Did Popa Wu Die? New Details On Death Of The Wu-Tang Clan OG And Longtime Adviser At 63 Getty Images

Even though Popa Wu isn't well-known outside of those truly entrenched in hip hop — or, "heads," as they're known — his influence is just as important to the history of the culture as the Wu-Tang Clan, the group he mentored.

As the father of two rappers — ShaCronz and Free Murda — who were affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan, Popa Wu was considered a respected elder amongst the extensive Wu-Tang Clan family (which goes above and beyond the core rappers of the Clan and includes their various affiliated producers, DJ collectives, and spin-off groups). His voice can even be heard on some songs by the Wu-Tang Clan, including "Wu Revolution." 


But how did Popa Wu die?

Let's look at what we know about the passing of the beloved and respected Wu-Tang Clan affiliate, Popa Wu. 

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1. Popa Wu had a bit of an acting career. 

Popa Wu wasn't just a trusted adviser to the Wu-Tang Clan. In fact, he had a bit of an acting career for himself, as well. 


In addition to appearing in several Wu-Tang related documentaries — like The Wu-Tang Saga and Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan — he had a bit part in the recent Hulu based-on-a-true-story series Wu-Tang: An American Saga. He also had a bit part in the film Pride & Glory, and was filming his part in Drug Affected when he passed away. 

2. He was considered an "expert" on the Five Percent Nation. 

The belief system of the Five Percent Nation is extremely complex and worthy of a dissertation all its own. In a nutshell, however, "Five Percenters" believe that only 10 percent of the population has all the knowledge in the world, and these elites keep 85 percent of the population in the dark. The remaining 5 percent also know the truth of the New World Order, and are tasked with spreading that truth to the other 85 percent. 

Popa Wu was considered an "expert" on the Five Percent Nation, and the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan had nothing but reverence for his teachings. 

3. Popa Wu also had a musical career. 

In addition to releasing his own albums — including Visions of the 10th Chamber — Popa Wu was an executive producer on a few other compilation albums. Notably, on The Future Chamber, he was not only executive producing the album, he was mentoring artists such as Suga Bang and DJ Nino Carta. 


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4. He had beef with Action Bronson. 

Back in 2015, Action Bronson got disrespectful to Ghostface Killah, one of the most prominent members of the Wu-Tang Clan. In response, Popa Wu went over to talk to Action Bronson "as a father would a son," trying to tell him to "watch what he says."

Though there were a few in the blogosphere who felt Popa Wu was trying to escalate the situation, Popa Wu made clear that it was "blown out of proportion" and all he was trying to do was settle matters between the two men. 

5. Members of the Wu-Tang Clan paid tribute to Popa Wu.

When word got out that Popa Wu had passed away, it didn't take long for members of the Wu-Tang Clan to express their grief on social media.


Method Man — arguably the best-known member of "the Clan" — shared a picture of the two of them together with the caption "no words." GZA posted a video tribute to his mentor with the caption, "RIP Popa Wu." And U-God took to Twitter to express condolences to Popa Wu's family. 

6. How did Popa Wu die? No cause of death has been released yet. 

Though he died at his home in Brooklyn at the age of 63, no cause of death has been released by Popa Wu's family. Sometimes known as "Freedum Allah," Popa Wu was also related to three of the Wu-Tang Clan's original members: GZA, RZA, and the late Ol'Dirty Bastard.


We will keep you posted with any information released about Popa Wu's cause of death. Our thoughts are with Popa Wu, his family, and the extensive Wu-Tang Clan during this difficult time. 

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post,, and more.