Wu-Tang Clan producer, rapper and de facto leader RZA has addressed recent news that Wu-Tang affiliate Andre “Christ Bearer” Johnson had severed his own penis and jumped from the second-floor balcony of a Los Angeles apartment.
Following the incident, there was conjecture surrounding whether or not Christ Bearer was affiliated with Wu-Tang, after a publicist for Wu-Tang Clan founding member GZA (Heathcliff Berru) told USA Today that Johnson is not directly involved with the hip-hop act.
Now RZA (real name Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) has shared his grief about the incident, and confirmed ties between Johnson and the group in an interview with XXL Mag.
In the interview RZA revealed he was recently in contact with Johnson. “First of all, I just had seen him recently. He had got out of jail and [was] calling me,” he said. “I feel sad for his family first and foremost; I know he has children,” he continued.
RZA also expressed deep concern over Johnson’s current mental state. “I thought he was a smarter guy than a guy who would do something crazy like that,” he said. “But at the same time, he been in jail recently, he’s been in trouble,” he continued.
“Maybe he’s mentally unstable. Maybe the mental health system should have took a look at him and said, ‘You know what? We got to hold on to this guy for a little longer.'”
Johnson was seriously injured in the incident, but survived the fall. He was found in critical condition on the pavement below and was rushed to hospital.
Immediately afterwards, it was reported that witnesses told police that “hard drugs” were not a factor in the incident. RZA concurs, “This sounds more than high. It sound like mental problems or something that was bothering this man’s mind, and he needed help. It’s sad. I send my respect out to his family.”
The Wu-Tang member also detailed how Christ Bearer were signed and supported by RZA around a decade ago. “Christ Bearer is a part of the West Coast Killa Beez, a bunch of young guys that was signed to our company 10 years ago. Wu-Tang, we’re from the East Coast. But we did invest in some young guys to try and help any hood,” RZA explained, also confirming that Johnson doesn’t make music with Wu-Tang’s support anymore.
“Christ Bearer is a tragic story, because it’s still the same situation: a guy we gave a chance to. If I remember that deal back in the day, I remember [Johnson and his parted Meko] signed for, like, $150,000, a record deal from some young guys from Long Beach, Cali… I liked what they stood for, young guys trying,” he said.
It’s clear that Johnson’s story has brought some sadness into the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA elaborated, discussing his own need to “hear the whole story” and understand Johnson’s reasoning.
“I can’t wait to really hear the whole story. It’s sad that it’s Wu-Tang affiliated. It’s like dirty press in a way. I want to know what the fuck moved him to do those things.”