As we reported yesterday, rapper Christ Bearer apparently severed his penis and jumped off of his Studio City apartment balcony, in what appears to be a suicide attempt.
But despite his affiliation with Wu-Tang Clan, most people — Wu fans included — know very little about him. Here’s his story:
Bearer’s real name is Andre Johnson, and featured in the Wu-Tang affiliate group West Coast Wu-Tang Killa Bees. Initial reports (including our own, and from Wu-Tang’s own blog/Instagram) claimed he also rapped under the name Andre Roxx, but that’s another rapper entirely — a North Carolina Wu-Tang affiliate apparently also named Andre Johnson.
Keeping track of all the worldwide Wu-Tang affiliates these days can be a bit confusing, but Christ Bearer does have legit Wu-Tang cred going back to the ’90s. While not one of the original nine members — or a frequent featured guest like Killah Priest or Cappadonna — Bearer was recruited when the Wu empire was at its most prominent, and was one of the first West Coast artists signed by the group’s leader RZA.
Discovered by RZA, Christ Bearer and his partner in rhyme Meko the Pharoah were put into the group Black Knights of the North Star, who debuted on the 1998 Wu-Tang Killa Bees: The Swarm Volume 1 compilation. At a time when rappers’ skills were evaluated by how many big words their lyrics had, Christ Bearer could stack syllables with the best of them.
A few years later, Bearer and Meko refocused on their duo Northstar. In 2004 they released the RZA-overseen Bobby Digital Presents: Northstar album on the independent label Koch, at a time when Koch was distributing a number of big-time projects. That same year, Bearer was joined by West coast legends E-40 and WC for “When the Guns Come Out,” on the Blade: Trinity soundtrack.
While Wu-Tang affiliates seemingly come and go, RZA seemed to have a particular fondness for (and loyalty to) Christ Bearer. He would often appear as a guest on RZA’s random soundtrack appearances, most memorably 2005’s “Unleash Me” and 2008’s “Money Don’t Own Me.”
But Christ Bearer is probably best remembered for is his appearance in the “Bomb Squad” episode of Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade show when he, RZA, and other Wu-Tang affiliates accidentally drill into UCB’s underground lair.
It’s not immediately clear why the man born Andre Johnson would mutilate himself and attempt to take his own life. Making the story even stranger has been the confusion with the other Andre Johnson. In fact, Wu-Tang’s official website and Instagram account posted yesterday that the North Carolina Johnson, “Ain’t Got Shit to do with The Wutang Brand.”
But the confusion has now mostly subsided. We will keep you updated as this story unfolds.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 17, 2014