The Five Percenters and hip-hop communities were shocked Monday morning upon hearing the news that Popa Wu, a.k.a. Freedum Allah, had suddenly returned to the essence at his Brooklyn home. He was 63 years of age.
He is most noted for dropping inspirational lines on classic Wu Tang tracks like on Raekwon’s “North Star” (“Only Built for Cuban Linx,” 1995); Ghostface Killah’s “All That I Got Is You,” featuring Mary J. Blige; Ghostface Killah’s “Black Jesus” (“Iron Man,” 1996); and “Wu Revolution,” the intro to the classic multi-platinum album “Wu Tang Forever” (1997).
As a long-standing member of The Five Percenters since the 1960s, the Coney Island, Brooklyn native was a consistent presence at many of their functions, including their monthly Universal Parliaments, annual Show & Proves, as well as various memorials. He also spoke during the unveiling ceremony for the “Five Percenters, Allah & Justice Square” street co-naming in Mecca/Harlem this past March 30.
Along with his younger cousins The Rza, The Gza & O.D.B., their art is responsible for inspiring tens of thousands of individuals around the world to seek the knowledge of themselves. Their hip-hop super-group revolutionized the music game, business-wise, as well as creatively. He served as an O.G.—Older God—providing advice on life to his younger homies as they navigated the globe. “Popa Wu” is the name affectionally bestowed on him by Clan member, Method Man.
Popa Wu released his “Visions in the 10th Chamber” solo album in 2000 which also featured many Wu Tang Clan members and affiliates.
He had just finished building at The Five Percenters’ last Universal Parliament of 2019 on Sunday, Dec. 15, in defense of some first generation members who were being verbally attacked by some younger ones.
Popa Wu also appeared in the very popular Hulu series’ first episode of “Wu Tang: An American Saga,” which chronicled their rise to success from the slums of “Shaolin,” as they refer to their homeland of Staten Island.
Social media was abuzz, sharing the disheartening news.
Ghostface, The Gza, Method Man, YDB, The Rza and Raekwon were among some of the Wu members who paid their respects to him on social media. Some shared photos of them together. One of Wu’s music producers Allah Mathematics posted his eulogy: “Our history goes back almost 35 years, me as a young God and you the older God. I can still hear you loud as hell saying “NOW CIPHER!! Then came them Wu-Days, I can go on and on but the reality is I’m gonna miss my Big Brother ‘Freedum’ and he did his job freeing the dumb.”
Remembered in Perfection Popa Wu.